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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : February 17, 2016

2017 will see smartphones oust tablets as dominant mobile shopping tool

The days of tablet dominance in mobile commerce are almost over, according to new research from eMarketer.

by Helen Leggatt

According to eMarketer, by 2017 the smartphone will replace the tablet as the driver of mobile commerce in the U.S.. The digital research outfit forecasts that more than half of those who shop online (51.2% of digital buyers or 95.1 million Americans) will do so via their smartphone next year and account for more than half of mobile sales. Meanwhile, tablets' share of mobile sales will drop to less than half (49%).

Last year, with the introduction of larger smartphone screens that make it easier to carry out transactions on mobile, purchases on smartphones doubled to $39 billion. This increase in screen size will continue to drive up m-commerce numbers in the years to come, says Yory Wurmser, an eMarketer retail analyst, rising to $59 billion this year (32% of all e-commerce sales) and rising to $92 billion by 2018.

However, there is still a long way to go before more consumers are comfortable making purchases on their smartphone and the fact remains that, while many will browse, research and compare products on a mobile device, most will switch to a PC, or head in-store, to complete a purchase.

"In order to get people to make purchases on their phones, retailers need to make it as easy as possible for consumers," said Wurmser. "That means fully optimized mobile websites, a checkout process with few steps, and fully personalized merchandising."

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: ecommerce, mcommerce, mobile, smartphone, tablet

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