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Mobile commerce continues its ascent

The stat: Over one-third (37%) of US adults made a purchase via mobile sites over the past three months, per Forrester data reported by Retail Dive. That’s up from 29% in 2021.

  • That’s one reason we forecast US retail mcommerce sales will grow by 14.7% this year, to $504.95 billion.
  • Mobile shopping also made up the majority of Cyber Five online sales for the first time in 2022, taking a 51% share, per Adobe. And nearly 45% of online spending from October 1 to December 31 came from mobile shoppers.

Zoom out: Mcommerce’s steady rise has led more retailers to launch mobile-specific experiences to maximize convenience for shoppers. For example, Walmart launched a “Text to Shop” feature in December to—in theory—make it easier for shoppers to order via mobile.

  • But in practice, the feature is clunky to use, per TechCrunch. Users have to be ultra-specific with their requests to surface the products they want, removing items from the cart is arduous, and the bot is easily confused, making the shopping experience much longer and complicated than it should be.
  • Text to Shop is reminiscent of Jetblack, Walmart’s earlier foray into shopping via text that shut down in 2020 after reportedly signing up fewer than 1,000 customers.

The big picture: Mcommerce accounted for 41.8% of US retail ecommerce sales in 2022, a share that we expect to grow to 43.7% this year. But checkout speed and ease of use remain significant barriers to mcommerce, with nearly one-third of US consumers preferring to transact via desktop because it’s simpler, per Forrester.

  • While Walmart’s willingness to experiment with mcommerce is commendable, rolling out initiatives like Text to Shop before they’re fully developed could lead to more abandoned carts than sales.