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Yottaa Study: Mobile Commerce Hits 32% of Online Revenue

Among Yottaa’s retail customers, mobile commerce is growing faster even than bullish industry projections.

A widely cited Goldman Sachs report released earlier this year predicted mobile devices would combine for 27% of all online commerce, with smartphones making up 34% of that figure. If Yottaa’s early indicators hold true, mobile commerce will beat those predictions (at least during the holiday season) and smartphones will play a significantly bigger role in that growth.

Turning the corner

For over a year the common thread among studies of mobile adoption has been that the tremendous rise in traffic from mobile devices is coupled with stubbornly low conversions and revenue. To blame, the theory goes, is poor mobile user experiences and low levels of trust among end users for solid, secure performance during transactions. Users “window shop” on their mobile devices and move to a PC to complete a transaction.  This year, though, it seems that holiday customers are starting to turn the corner.

Our study found that mobile traffic to retail sites increased 53% this black friday weekend over last years’, which is in line with other recent studies.  Instead it is the growth in revenue and conversion that indicate a departure from the expected: a 150% increase in revenue from smartphones YoY, driven by a 58% increase in smartphone conversion rate.

Smartphones and tablets combine for nearly 1/3 of revenue, 47% of traffic

The massive gain in smartphone revenue — plus a less spectacular, yet robust 29% increase in revenue from tablets — comes at the expense of desktop commerce.  Net traffic to desktop sites actually fell  for the retailers studied, down 3%.  And in fact, the slight decline appears conservative: a small number of new, fast-growing retailers showed strong growth in desktop traffic due to natural business growth.  Of the more established businesses in the study, nearly all showed significant declines in desktop traffic, including some as much as 32%.

Still, conversion rate for desktops grew by 16%, roughly on par with a 15% increase in revenue from the devices.  And of course, it’s still the dominant medium, with 68% of all revenue. But if end users are beginning to trust their smartphones to conduct shopping, we can only expect these trends to accelerate. The smallest increase in mobile conversion we saw in the study was 30% — most retailers studied were closer to doubling their mobile conversion rate YoY.

The season has just begun

This study looks at data from the day before Thanksgiving through the following Sunday, this year vs. last.  It’s only the beginning — with nearly 4 weeks of shopping still to come, we’ll be watching closely to see if the numbers hold.

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