Bigcommerce recently released a report about just how much of its user base – mainly small and medium-sized businesses selling things on its e-commerce and m-commerce platforms – was putting a lot of its potential business into mobile commerce.
While indeed, a healthy swath of Bigcommerce's users were turning to mobile, that wasn't the only interesting development that Bigcommerce's report had to tell.
Bigcommerce's numbers showed that fully 10.2 percent of all sales through Bigcommerce platforms were sales performed via smartphones and tablets. While Bigcommerce's total sales were $824.9 million in 2012, $84.3 million – 10.2 percent – were performed on mobile devices. This by itself is a noteworthy conclusion in its own right, but things only get stranger when the different operating systems used to make the sales are considered.
Of that $84.3 million, over half of the sales – $46.4 million – were made on an iPad. Another $24.9 million were made via Apple's iPhone. Just $13 million were made via Android devices, and that means that, for Bigcommerce users, 84.6 percent of total sales were made on some breed of Apple device.
That's a big discrepancy, and a discrepancy that only gets more pronounced when the differences in market share between the two breeds of device are considered. Android phones represent, based on reports from comScore, 52.5 percent of the smartphone market.
Apple, meanwhile, accounts for 34.3 percent.
It's been suggested that, since Android phones represent devices across all sides of the pricing spectrum – both inexpensive and expensive devices use it – while Apple devices all have about the same price, users have more in the way of disposable income on Apple than on Android, on average.
Additionally, looking at some of the brands represented on Bigcommerce – Pandora Jewelers, Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams, Gibson Guitar and Grady's Cold Brew, among others – suggests a possibly more upscale leaning on Bigcommerce's part altogether.
The exact cause in the discrepancy is currently unknown, but what's clear is the overall push toward mobile commerce being experienced. It shouldn't come as too great a surprise; between the sheer number of mobile devices coming out and the various marketing pushes involved in getting people to work with mobile devices – eBay's bliss spa promotion back last Black Friday springs readily to mind –have also put their metaphorical two cents in.
As mobile devices gain ground in users' homes and where users travel, the use of mobile commerce will likely also grow as users take window shopping to its fullest extreme and actually do some buying. Granted, the soft economy will restrain those numbers at least somewhat, but there will likely be gains to be had.
Mobile commerce is a field with a lot of opportunity and a lot of rapid shifts in development, so look for continued instability in this sector as the changes that mark a new market in rapid flux emerge. But at the same time, also look for mobile commerce to have no particularly deep slowdown in the near future; people are starting to get the hang of this.
Edited by Braden Becker