eCommerce in 2016: The Rise of Mobile Commerce

Online retailing trends have been steadily changing over the past few years and are on a rampage now. eCommerce sales is expected to take a sharp rise in Europe (led by the UK) and in the US in 2016.

eCommerce is the fastest growing retail market in Europe. Sales in the UK, Germany, France, Sweden, The Netherlands, Italy, Poland and Spain are expected to grow to £219.44 billion in 2016 up from the £132.05 in 2014. In the US and Canada, online sales are expected to rise from $306.85 billion in 2014 to $398.78 billion in 2016.

Retail focus on the growing use of mobile technology (or mCommerce) is the key factor in making online retailing attractive, convenient and much more popular than before.


The above infographic throws light on several factors that indicate the rapid proliferation of mCommerce.

According to a research from RetailMeNot, a marketplace for digital offers, Brits are set to spend £60bn online in 2016, as the usage of mobile and tablets alone will mark an £8.9bn increase in online sales. The study, carried out in conjunction with the Centre for Retail Research, reveals that multichannel shoppers (who shop online using a PC and a mobile or tablet device) are set to spend £1,962 online in 2016, versus £1,014 for PC-only shoppers – a difference of 94% or almost £950.

The United Kingdom is the second-largest mobile commerce market only after Japan. The penetration of mobile devices in the UK is increasing as the utility of smartphones is deepening because of its portability. Smartphone penetration in the UK has reached 80% of the total mobile penetration which is only a few numbers lesser than US. In 2014, smartphone and tablet devices alone accounted for 45% of all eCommerce traffic in the UK. Clothing/apparel/accessories is the top retail category searched for on mobile devices. It is forecasted that by 2019, retail mCommerce would represent 43.7% of total retail eCommerce in the UK.

While consumers have been at the forefront in shifting to mobile shopping, the case with retailers is not the same. Many of them run technology that does not quite welcome an mCommerce strategy on board. However those who seized the opportunity reaped the benefits, as a major share of revenue growth for mCommerce is shared between a few players. If you are not one amongst this elite group, then you need to act fast to grab a piece of the pie. As an online retailer, you most likely recognize the importance of mobile – in 2016, not adapting to this trend will be the downfall of online stores across the globe.

As smartphones become even more embedded in customers’ day-to-day lives, it opens up opportunities and challenges for the mobile sector, retailers, advertisers and more.

As a retailer how do you tap this potential?

The answer lies in creating a holistic mobile shopping experience for your customers. The results of 2 surveys conducted jointly by Adobe and in 2014 and 2015 are an eye-opener for eCommerce players to rethink their mobile strategies. The survey throws light on the following approaches that retailers hone their focus on:

  1. Responsive Design
  2. Mobile-optimized website
  3. Mobile Apps
  4. Mobile-optimized email
  5. Adaptive design


The preferences can be seen in the infograph accompanying this blog.


From a business point of view, offering deals or promotions for smartphone and tablet users will help to capture the market on a huge scale. Equally important is offering them a personalized shopping experience and thereby encouraging the e-shoppers to visit and return to the site for future purchases.

Considering the global happenings and the rising importance of mobiles in the eCommerce business, 2016 is going to be a decisive year for many of the retailers in terms of their market strategies. Those who align themselves to the globally changing trends and to the latest technologies/right platforms has a very high chance of moving high and winning a spot among the market leaders group!

About The Author

Charles M Sebastian's picture
Charles M Sebastian
Lead eCommerce Consultant
Charles M Sebastian is a Lead eCommerce Consultant with Applexus. He manages the eCommerce delivery team and is also driving the Business development activities & eCommerce operations for Applexus in the UK.

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