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M-commerce booming in US – but is Kindle Fire really the future?

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The latest study of the US m-commerce market by analytics firm Custora, finds that m-retail is now a $40billion a year market, up from a mere $2billion in 2010 – but that, while Apple devices still account for 80% of the orders made on tablets, Kindle Fire already has 4%, already meaning it is a third of the size of Samsung.

Kindle was, just a few short years ago, an eBook reader. Now it is a fully fledged commerce tablet and a force to be reckoned with. This is something that retailers worldwide should sit up and take note of.

Meanwhile, Microsoft is nowhere to be seen. Despite really heavy promotion of its Surface tablet and Windows smartphones, it still barely moves the needle in terms of traffic and is buried inside the 2.5% of “other” sales orders placed on tablets, and 15.9% of “other” phones in the Custora research – both statistics include all non-Samsung Android devices in the ‘other’ number.

This musts come as brutal news to Microsoft, which In November 2013 when it took over Nokia said that it planned to spend more than $400 million on marketing these products this year, in hopes of achieving 16 million tablet sales.

To put this in context, the Custora report also finds that mobile devices now make up more than a third of visits to online stores, but still only make up a quarter of on-line sales. In fact, overall online conversion rates remain at 4.3% (January-March 2014), which gives a great deal of credence to the notion of “web-rooming” and “showrooming.” Consumers educate themselves on phones, tablets, and desktops, but still prefer to consummate their purchases in stores.

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