Mobile Is Driving Retail Ecommerce Sales Worldwide

Mcommerce accounts for 58.9% of digital sales

January 29, 2018

In 2017, retail ecommerce sales worldwide reached $2.304 trillion, 24.8% higher than 2016, eMarketer estimates. 

Mobile was a key factor, with mcommerce sales of $1.357 trillion—making up 58.9% of all digital sales.

A majority of first-time digital buyers are now completing transactions via mobile devices, specifically smartphones. And as this audience becomes digitally mature—moving from browsing to buying—their purchase frequency and amount spent online will only increase.

Each region had notable growth in mobile’s share of ecommerce. In Asia-Pacific, the proportion grew from 70.3% in 2016 to 76.1% in 2017. In Western Europe—where tablets play a role in several countries—it jumped from 31.3% to 35.4% over the same period.

In terms of total retail sales worldwide, mcommerce accounted for 6.0% last year. eMarketer expects that by 2021, that share will double to 12.7%.

These estimates are drawn from eMarketer's latest report "Worldwide Retail and Ecommerce Sales: eMarketer's Updated Forecast and New Mcommerce Estimates for 2016-2021." The report includes eMarketer's updated forecast for global retail sales, retail ecommerce sales, digital shoppers and digital buyers, as well as new estimates for mcommerce sales. eMarketer PRO subscribers can access the full report here. Nonsubscribers can learn more here