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Apple’s mobile commerce prowess supports its return seen in Q1

Apple’s Q1 2017 was its highest revenue quarter ever, seeing record-breaking sales through its App Store, as well as Apple Pay transaction volume up 500 percent year over year.

During the tech giant’s earnings call for the first quarter of the 2017 fiscal year, Apple announced it had an unparalleled quarter during the holiday season with sales from products such as Apple Watches, iPhones and Macs, paired with strong purchases on the App Store and in service. After a disappointing few quarters, this was a big season for Apple and its results are indicative of a further shift in consumer behavior such as a bigger interest in wearables.

“We’re thrilled to report that our holiday quarter results generated Apple’s highest quarterly revenue ever, and broke multiple records along the way,” said Tim Cook, CEO of Apple. “We sold more iPhones than ever before and set all-time revenue records for iPhone, Services, Mac and Apple Watch.

“Revenue from Services grew strongly over last year, led by record customer activity on the App Store, and we are very excited about the products in our pipeline,” he said.

Mobile transaction increasing
There is no doubt that consumers are spending more time within their smartphones than ever before. Consumers are becoming more comfortable with spending on mobile, which is allowing Apple to break records with customer activity on the App Store and more users on Apple Pay.

During Apple’s $78.4 billion revenue quarter, the Apple Watch saw its biggest quarter yet and the iPhone record breaking sales for in many markets. More consumers are switching to the larger Apple iPhone, the iPhone Plus, as it saw higher-than-expected sales.

Greater interest in the iPhone Plus shows consumers becoming more comfortable with larger screens. They will come to expect a higher quality experience. Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus was its most popular Plus model, exhibited in this last quarter.

Apple predicts it will become a Fortune 100 company this year.

Executives also detailed the increase of retailers coming to the App Store for a wide range of retail tools including POS systems, logistics and product development. This alludes to a more innovative future in mobile commerce, and retailers need to continue innovating at a rapid pace.

The App Store saw a growth of 43 percent, and saw more use than its competitors, doubling sales compared to Google Play.

Over the past year, Apple has tripled in users with year-over-year transactions growth at 500 percent.

Apple Pay push
Shopify and Moovweb were two of the digital commerce providers that originally brought Apple Pay to hundreds of thousands of merchants’ Web sites in a move that has increased online sales, due to the technology’s enhanced security.

During June’s Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple revealed that its popular mobile payments service, Apple Pay, will be making its debut on the Web this fall with the help of several commerce platforms, including Shopify and Moovweb. Brands such as IBM and 1800Flowers also announced their plans to integrate Apple Pay into their Web channels, and a great deal more have since, reflecting marketers’ desire to implement more security-friendly solutions into their online sites (see more).

Apple Pay also recently doubled down on an existing partnership with cashless-vending machine payment platform USA Technologies by integrating its loyalty program into its platform.

The program, named More, will be rolled out to more than 300,000 vending machines worldwide, most of which use USA Technologies’ ePort product, a cashless payment terminal which can accept Apple Pay. After the two fully execute the integration, consumers making a purchase will be able to take advantage of exclusive offers, promotions and discounts toward future purchases at participating self-serve machines connected to USAT’s ePort Connect platform (see more).

“Our outstanding business performance resulted in a new all-time record for earnings per share, and over $27 billion in operating cash flow,” said Luca Maestri, chief financial officer at Apple. “We returned nearly $15 billion to investors through share repurchases and dividends during the quarter, bringing cumulative payments through our capital return program to over $200 billion.”