Mobile is Accelerating Retail Figures

According to a recent report from comScore, “State of the U.S. Retail Economy in Q3 2015”, mobile is driving retail figures up.  The data was released via a webinar and includes all worldwide buying on U.S. sites through September of 2015. Our analyst, Heather O’Bryan, attended the call and here is part of her recap:

Overall, they had some very interesting insights and predictions for next year. One important discussion point was around mobile and how it is accelerating retail figures. There results are similar to some of our consumer based surveys. According to comScore’s figures, desktop e-commerce (retail and travel) was up 8% year over year overall, in Q1-Q3, totaling $281 billion with retail e-commerce reaching $179 billion up 9% versus last year because of the mobile shift. Retail digital commerce (desktop and mobile) reached $69.7 billion in Q3 2015 which is up 15% versus last year. When compared to consumer discretionary spending, digital commerce growth in Q3 substantially out performed it. The strength of online when including both mobile and desktop digital commerce accounted for about 1 in every 7 (13.1%) discretionary dollar spent by consumers in Q3 2015 but seasonality wise, sales will peak in the colder months and expect increases in late 2015.

Mobile is accelerating this shift and it will tip it towards the positive.


Mobile shopping and commerce increased overtime to 16.4% in Q3 2015 with total discretionary retail up 1%, e-commerce 8% and m-commerce 70% which is far outpacing e-commerce and bricks-and-mortar. Despite having a huge growth, it’s monetizing at a slower rate. Similar to some of our studies, comScore found that consumers were not completing mobile transactions due to security concerns, (i.e. public WIFI), and poor mobile optimization of sites i.e. on the list included they couldn’t see the product details because of the smaller screens and they couldn’t navigate between screens and/or sites.  The mobile retail apps that have a significant percentage of consumers who are multi-platform and mobile-only but split between apps and mobile web time are listed in the chart below.


These findings correspond to our most recent local search survey and illustrate the fact that mobile device usage is a critical component of the path to purchase, however work still needs to be done on the consumer experience side to fully realize the true power of mobile.

Smartphone Usage In-Store by Apps & Age

comScore also found if consumers have a retailer’s app on their phone’s home screen, they will use it more. This raises the question, how hard is it to get a consumer to download a retailer’s app and place it on their home screen? comScore stated consumers only want up to three apps on their phone and of the ones who had only one app, 35% of them had Amazon and 15% Walmart. I’m not so sure three is the magic number. This is something we can explore. What about the others-how do retailers spark an interest with consumers to download their app? comScore suggest three things: 1. Use the app to enhance in-store usage, 2. Give exclusive deals, and  3. Have an entertaining experience and reward people for in-app purchases. These are all great recommendations.






Jason Peaslee

Jason Peaslee is the Managing Partner of Thrive Analytics, a marketing research and analytics consulting firm. His career spans more than 20 years in marketing, advertising, product development, research, and business management. Before founding Thrive Analytics in 2010, he held several senior leadership roles at AT&T, Reynolds & Reynolds, Berry Network, & The Berry Company.

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