Depending on your perspective, mobile sales of 5 percent to 10 percent are either disappointing or promising. However that’s what Retention Science found in analyzing roughly $40 million of US sports and concert ticket sales during the first eight months of 2012.
The following chart shows three groups of ticket buyers. Essentially, they’re grouped into categories depending on when they bought their tickets (early, middle, late relative to the event). Regardless, the percentage (of even late purchasers) who converted on mobile devices is pretty consistent — less than 10 percent.
Source: Retention Science
According to Retention Science, “the bulk of ticket purchases (85 percent+) were made via Web. Consumers that purchased tickets in person or via phone made up (~10 to 15 percent) of ticket sales, while mobile only made up (5 to 10 percent) of overall ticket sales.”
There are lots of “m-commerce” forecasts arguing that in five years consumers will be making billions of dollars of purchases via mobile. I think that’s directionally correct but the time frame is an “x-variable.” In addition, mobile purchasing will not be evenly distributed across all e-commerce categories and sites. Some like travel are seeing pretty strong growth.
Amazon and eBay are far and away the leaders in mobile purchasing in the US market today. That’s because they’ve invested heavily in mobile and have relatively trusted brands, especially Amazon. Groupon is also seeing much of its transaction volume come through mobile (roughly a third now). However Groupon also has a trusted brand and a consumer credit card on file.
Random, no-name e-commerce companies are going to see very few mobile purchases, unless or until they do at least a couple of things:
- Create a great mobile user experience (much easier said than done)
- Work with third-party payments vendors so they don’t ask the consumer to input a credit card on a mobile device
Even so, for the foreseeable future, we’re likely to continue to see the pattern where consumers shop on smartphones but complete purchases in stores, on the PC or on tablets.