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The Great Mobile Divide- Smartphones & Tablets for Mobile Commerce


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What once started with brick like heavy sets have now changed to sleek and stylish multi-functional devices that can make more than calls or SMS. Mobiles today have surpassed the bygone era and become an updated version of sleek and handy devices that is required to perform most of the tasks for a day to day errand. The software capabilities of a phone has increased by leaps and bounds, accessing internet through the mobile device is now so easy and convenient. Along with the mobiles phones, advanced technology invented something unique and ironically named tablet.  A tablet as we know is a larger device and more powerful than a mobile phone. Between Smartphone’s and tablets, desktops and traditional computers are becoming obsolete altogether.

With the creation of these various mobile devices and their use in technology developed mobile commerce. Last year, mobile commerce in the U.S. totaled approximately $115 billion, or 35% of overall eCommerce transactions with a projected compounded annual growth rate of 17% in the next five years. In addition, approximately 47% of total eCommerce site traffic can currently be attributed to mobile device shoppers, a number that’s projected to surpass 50% in the coming years. Though most of the functionalities and traffic generated for the devices are the same, yet there are some differentiators that have created the great mobile divide.

Trends and Statistics

If international statistics are taken to account then Smartphone’s and tablets display a wide range of differences based on their location. Example, the worldwide average retail eCommerce site visit duration is 10.4 minutes for tablet shoppers and 8.4 minutes for Smartphone users, with interesting discrepancies appearing all around the globe. In terms of site traffic share, approximately 22% of traffic was attributed to Smartphone shoppers and 16% went to tablet users in 2015.

Holiday and Peak Season Statistics

The holiday seasons are always different. They bring in spikes in retail sales making it very interesting and a preferred time to discover new ecommerce trends in the market. 2015 showed a hike in the purchases made from smartphones and tablets. Compared to tablets, smartphones are more easily available and accessible to people staying the rural regions of a country, thus making it a preferred choice for shopping than tablets during the holiday or peak seasons.

Common Activities on Devices

As mobile commerce has grown, the consumer behavior in different geographies has also changed. For example, the shopping patterns, browsing of products and price checking have changed from country to country. Worldwide, the second largest Smartphone share of app launches and site visits were shopping related (84%) and for tablets, where apps are utilized less, shopping visits (37%) ranked number one. Both mobiles and Smartphones are devices for product discovery. Product discovery is therefore a popular activity for people using the devices, they are purchase influencers.


Smartphones (15%) and tablets (33%) are expected to generate 48% of eCommerce sales by 2020, only a small number of retailers have direct initiatives aimed at capturing the unique and growing market. Many retailers plan to change their investments in these initiatives in 2016, with 67% of retailers intending to increase their Smartphone investment spend and 53% of retailers planning to do the same for tablet investments. As technology develops and continues to evolve, mobile commerce will become more sophisticated and customized with analytics that differentiate Smartphone from tablets.

The Great Mobile Divide- Smartphones & Tablets for Mobile Commerce