US e-commerce spending grew by 14% year-over-year in Q1, marking the 18th consecutive quarter of double-digit growth dating back to Q2 2010, according to data recently released by comScore [download page]. Indeed, digital commerce (desktop and mobile combined) accounted for roughly 1 in every $7 (14.7%) of consumers’ discretionary spending in Q1, the highest figure on record, per comScore’s data.
Mobile continues to be a growing influence on digital commerce, as one might expect. Interestingly, the $11.1 billion spent on mobile commerce in Q1 was the largest figure to-date, even outstripping the Q4 2014 holiday period ($10.7 billion). Mobile now accounts for 15.4% share of total digital commerce spending, up from the previous high of 13% in Q4 2014, and representing strong growth from 11.1% share in the year-earlier period. Not surprisingly, the year-over-year growth rate for mobile commerce (+53%) far outpaced comparable rates for e-commerce (+9%) and discretionary retail overall (+2%).
Still, mobile’s 15% of retail spending lags its share of time spent (59%) with digital retail media. That’s likely related to most mobile owners feeling that it’s more difficult to shop via mobile than via desktop. Specifically, half of smartphone owners surveyed in April said that shopping via smartphones is either somewhat (33%) or significantly (17%) more difficult than doing so via desktop, versus just 14% who find it easier. Likewise, 47% of tablet owners find m-commerce more difficult than desktop e-commerce, compared to 15% who find it easier.
The following list highlights some other key statistics from the comScore report:
- Smartphone commerce is most hampered by users’ perceived lack of security providing payment information, and not being able to see the product detail;
- Not being able to see the product detail is the least-cited issue on tablets, where owners are more likely to feel insecure about providing payment information and to feel that navigating between screens is too difficult or slow;
- Mobile’s share of digital commerce spending in Q1 was highest for the toys and hobbies (37%), video games, consoles and accessories (37%), and jewelry and watches (31%) categories;
- Apparel and accessories was the top-selling e-commerce product category by absolute dollars, and showed very strong year-over-year growth (20% or higher);
- Other digital commerce categories posting growth rates of at least 20% were: toys and hobbies; event tickets; jewelry and watches; music, movies and video; flowers, greetings and miscellaneous gifts; sport and fitness; and video games, consoles and accessories;
- While e-commerce accounted for just 2% of CPG sales last year, e-commerce spending on CPG grew by a robust 20.7% last year;
- Buyers spent an average of $294 each when making purchases via desktops in Q1, up around 4% year-over-year;
- Some 64% of e-commerce transactions included free shipping in Q1, the sixth consecutive quarter in which at least half of transactions included free shipping;
- Half of consumers surveyed in April were likely to abandon their shopping cart if they discovered that free shipping was not offered;
- Among respondents who placed items in a shopping cart without any intention of purchasing them, the leading reasons were to see how much shipping would cost (56%) and to see the total cost of the order prior to purchasing (54%); and
- The leading reasons consumers don’t download more retail applications are because they would not use them enough (40%) and because they take up too much memory (37%).