The State of Mobile (e)Commerce in 2018

At this very moment, there is a good chance you are reading this on a smartphone or tablet. There is an even better chance you used one of those devices to complete a purchase during 2017.

On top of that, you are most certainly going to complete a few purchases on your mobile devices throughout 2018. In this post, we will talk about the state of mobile eCommerce, where it is heading, and the steps you need to take to close more mobile sales in 2018.



This past year marked a significant increase (over 2016) in the number of eCommerce sales completed on mobile devices. In fact, the five-day period between Black Friday and Cyber Monday marked the first time that purchases completed on desktops (and laptops) only accounted for half of all eCommerce sales. The other half came from smartphones, tablets, and other connected-devices (such as game consoles and smart speakers like the Amazon Echo).

Amazon Echo

An artists rendering of a spy-device smartphone.

By the end of 2017, over two billion smartphone and tablet owners completed at least one purchase on a mobile device – versus 1.6 billion in 2016! just to clarify, this number includes purchases made through app-stores, in-app purchases, and digital subscriptions for movies, music, and TV shows.

Digital consumption aside, when we look at the numbers just for eCommerce sales (physical goods like clothing, food, and electronics) the AOV for shoppers using an iPhone is $117, and $111 for Android.

Sales completed on smartphones

The image featured here is from the Shopper Analytics section of the Datacrusheres Revenue Discovery Platform. “AND” means “Android” and “IPH” is “iPhone”, the data featured in the image is real.

What is the significance of these numbers? Does it signal that developers should stop focusing on the desktop eCommerce experience and shift all their attention and energy to mobile? Does it mean that the desktop is on the way out? Are smartphones and tablets going to become the only conduit for internet purchases going forward?

The Answer Will Suprise You!   

The simple answer to the above question is a resounding “no” and if that is not good enough, “not right now” should suffice.

The desktop shopping experience is not going anywhere right now and for good reason. The average CVR for desktop purchases is 4% versus 1.54% for tablets and 0.55% for smartphones.

Despite a comparatively low CVR, the mobile shopping experience should not be neglected. These days, many eCommerce sites can automatically adjust their layout for mobile visitors, but that does not mean the experience is seamless. Thus, many eCommerce retailers put a lot of effort into smoothing out the otherwise jagged edges a shopper may experience while browsing on their smartphone or tablet.

An example of a well designed mobile shopping experience.

While many shoppers prefer to complete purchases from their desktop when possible, it is important to provide a good mobile experience as it is a really important part of the sales process. A terrible experience while browsing on a smartphone or tablet is more likely to result in a total abandonment – in other words, the shopper will not even bother returning to the desktop site to complete a purchase.

Smartphones, Questionable  Decisions:

While it’s a real shame when a site is not optimized for mobile shopping –  it’s even worse when a physical retailer doesn’t have a site at all.  Since you are reading this, let’s go ahead and assume you either A) have a site or B) are in the process of launching one. Now let’s assume for a moment that your site exists in tandem with a physical retail location. How can smartphones help (or hurt) your sales?

In terms of help, 95% of shoppers use their mobile devices to look up information on local businesses for the purpose of calling or visiting. This is especially easy to do when a few swift thumb movements can bring you all the information you need – even while you are eating lunch!

But while we like to believe that our modern marvels only bring us joy and happiness (and bountiful cat memes) the convenience of having all the worlds information accessible from the palm of your hand is proving to be a boon for some retailers.

A recent survey found that 32% of shoppers changed their minds about purchasing items after looking up product information with their smartphone while in a physical store.

Out of those shoppers:

  • 20% decided to complete their purchase elsewhere.
  • 20% decided not to buy the item they came to view.
  • 22% decided to buy the item online instead.
  • 19% completed the purchase in store.

Furthermore, cart-abandonment is an issue on mobile devices much in the same way as desktops. The abandonment rate for smartphones is around 85%, while tablets are about 80%.

Abandoned revenue from mobile shoppers

That is a lot of abandoned revenue from mobile shoppers

So, What’s The Point? 

Current estimates predict that by the end of 2018, 27% of all eCommerce sales will come from mobile devices. That means that 1 out of every 4 retail eCommerce sales will happen on a smartphone or tablet.

Here is a handy checklist to help make sure your site is optimized and perfected for mobile shopping.  Everything here applies to smartphones and tablets – regardless of whether they are running on iOS, Android, or some other operating system.

  • Is it easy for shoppers to view items?
  • Is it easy for shoppers to add items to their cart?
  • Is it easy for shoppers to proceed to checkout on the site?
  • Is it easy for shoppers to fill in forms during the checkout process?
  • Is it easy for shoppers to fill in their payment details on the site?

Ease of use is a key aspect of a well thought out mobile shopping experience. In this case, shoppers can easily enter their credit card details OR use Affirm to finance their purchase.

As with all things in life, testing and validation is an important part of the perfection process. For best results, use a variety of modern mobile devices to make sure everything works. If you are strictly testing your site on iOS, there is a good chance Android users might not be having the same experience.

Datacrushers 14-day free trial


Founded in 2015, Datacrushers uses Machine Learning and A.I. along with NLP to identify and recover revenue loss, cart abandonment and discover new revenue sources across any site.  The revenue discovery platform completes the deep ongoing analysis of eCommerce websites by monitoring the three main focal points of any site: The User, Site, and Product.

Unlike traditional “cart abandonment platforms,” Datacrushers does not require shoppers and customers to be logged-in to conduct both on and offsite campaigns. We use a wide range of data-driven and analytics based conversion tools to target the shopper at the right time with the most accurate and effective campaign to drive the sale.

Datacrushers is platform, language, and currency agnostic and requires only a few lines of code to get started therefore delivering an ultra-fast go-to-market with minimal set-up time and tech intervention.

Based out of Jerusalem, Israel, Datacrushers has clients worldwide including,  The US, China, Russia, UK, Germany, and more.

By | 2018-03-27T17:40:19+00:00 February 26th, 2018|Affirm, Cart Abandonment, Fintech, Mobile eCommerce|Comments Off on The State of Mobile (e)Commerce in 2018