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US mobile commerce sales to top $3.4B this year: ABI Research

December 20, 2010

Mark Beccue is senior analyst of consumer mobility at ABI Research

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In the United States, purchases attributed to mobile online shopping—excluding travel—grew from $396.3 million in 2008 to an impressive $1.4 billion in 2009 and mobile commerce has continued its explosive growth this year.

ABI Research reported that in 2010, mobile online shopping excluding travel in the U.S. will more than doubled again to total approximately $3.4 billion by year’s end. Travel-related purchases such as airline tickets and hotels will add another $1.5 billion.

“The key finding of the study is significant increase in our estimate of mobile commerce sales in the U.S. for 2010,” said Mark Beccue, senior analyst of consumer mobility at ABI Research, New York.

“Our most recent estimate prior was produced in December 2009,  projected U.S. mobile commerce sales for 2010  at $1.2 billion,” he said.

“Not only has the U.S. retail industry embraced mobile, they have become highly innovative and creative in using mobile to close sales.”

The short-term growth of mobile online shopping has been nothing short of phenomenal.

Mr. Beccue said that we are entering a highly innovative and creative period for retail.

Mobile online shopping growth in the U.S. has been fueled this year by the massive migration of consumers to smartphones, the explosion of highly innovative use-cases deployed by retailers and third-party players, and a significant shift in consumer behavior as more consumers choose mobile shopping over traditional online shopping.

The U.S., Japan and beyond
In September, ABI Research developed an analysis of the current mobile commerce merchants in the US. For 2010, U.S. mobile commerce sales are divided as follows:

Travel: 31 percent

Computers/electronics: 20 percent

Apparel: 13 percent

Books/Music/DVDs: 9 percent

Office Supplies: 7 percent

Home furnishings/housewares: 6 percent

Entertainment tickets: 3 percent

All other: 12 percent

In Japan, where mobile online shopping has been commonplace for several years, mobile is responsible for nearly 17 percent of all ecommerce sales.

However, the success of mobile online shopping will not be confined to the United States and Japan.

Mark Beccue is senior analyst of consumer mobility at ABI Research

Mark Beccue is senior analyst of consumer mobility at ABI Research

In 2015, ABI Research predicts that mobile online shopping will be responsible for $163 billion in sales worldwide, 12 percent of global ecommerce turnover.

Beyond direct sales generated via mobile, innovative retailers will use mobile online shopping to introduce a broad range of mobile marketing campaigns and CRM programs.

“The most surprising finding is that U.S. consumers are adapting this much more rapidly than most experts would have anticipated even as little as 11 months ago,” Mr. Beccue said.

“Smartphone adoption and the viral nature of many mobile commerce apps are driving the growth of mobile shopping and commerce,” he said.

Final Take
Kenneth Cole’s Tom Davis

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Dan Butcher is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach him at

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