Mobile now accounts for 6% of global total retail sales and nearly 60% of ecommerce, following a yearly rise of 40% in 2017.
According to eMarketer’s most recent retail and ecommerce sales figures study, global m-commerce sales rose 40.3% last year to $1.357 trillion, representing 6.0% of total retail expenditures.
China alone made up 67.1% of m-commerce sales worldwide in 2017, driven by its mobile-first internet audience. Sales are expected to nearly triple from $909.93 billion to $2.595 trillion between 2017 and 2021.
Other markets with significant mobile spending include Japan, South Korea, the UK and the US. Growth has been helped along by consumers feeling more comfortable making purchases on their smartphones and, in some regions, a greater selection of low-cost items like apparel, which encourages impulse buying.
“A greater dependence on mobile devices, namely smartphones, is having a positive effect on retail mcommerce sales globally,” said Monica Peart, eMarketer’s senior forecasting director. “This trend is evident in more frequent mobile shopping sessions and higher spends per session, both hallmarks of a growing expectation for mobile devices to satisfy a variety of consumer shopping needs.”
The figures come against a backdrop of growing global ecommerce. The report estimates that retail ecommerce sales worldwide will reach $2.842 trillion this year, a 23.3% increase over 2017.
Ecommerce will make up close to 12% of total retail sales worldwide, up from 10.2% in 2017. This share is largely influenced by Asia-Pacific, where 17.6% of total retail spending will go toward ecommerce.
In 2017, retail ecommerce sales worldwide reached $2.304 trillion, a 24.8% increase over the previous year, eMarketer estimates. Mobile was a key factor, as mcommerce accounted for 58.9% of digital sales.