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Q4 mcommerce spending grew 45pc year-over-year: report

While the rise of mcommerce and ecommerce at large is unsurprising to anyone paying attention, online retail is usurping bricks-and-mortar spending in Q4, the most active retail quarter, according to the latest comScore report.

comScore — a cross-platform measurement company — released the report, which focuses specifically on Q4 .S. retail e-commerce spending from desktop computers and mobile devices, earlier this week. The report indicated an incredible amount of growth in ecommerce and mcommerce in particular.

“If retailers have already created a following of loyal customers, these brands will continue to thrive with mobile, unless they do something that creates a rift — giving their consumers a reason to leave them digitally,” said Marci Troutman, CEO of SiteMinis. “The consequences of a rift in this digital age is much more detrimental to brands with social and viral components in play.

“Brands need to protect their relationships like gold as digital moves forward; one loss could mean a fall for even the biggest of brands. Consumers have the power of the people at their fingertips with mobile and can make or break a brand in a matter of hours.”

Mobile retail growth
For Q4 2016, $109.3 billion was spent online, marking an 18 percent increase versus the same quarter in 2015.

The majority of online buying occurred on desktop computers, with $86.6 billion spent, up 13 percent from one year ago.

Meanwhile, mcommerce spending on smartphones and tablets contributed $22.7 billion, with a significantly higher year-over-year growth rate than desktop, at 45 percent.

Last year, mobile’s share of total ecommerce stood at 17 percent, an increase from 4 percent in 2010. This year, mcommerce accounted for 21 percent of total digital commerce dollars in Q4 2016, which is mobile’s highest recorded share of online sales for a single quarter since the company began measuring mcommerce in 2010.

Ecommerce vs. bricks-and-mortar
Q4’s holidays season often acts as a litmus test for how effective brands have developed their ecommerce infrastructures throughout the year. With this in mind, it is likely that brands are encouraging the transition from bricks-and-mortar presences to ecommerce access to inventory, which, once initial investment is done, costs less and is an overall more frictionless retail environment.

Last year, Sears would angle towards an omnichannel effort for the holiday season, leveraging multiple applications to assist consumers who are looking to the department store for holiday deals. Among Sears’ holiday offering was a Black Friday offer for 100 percent back in Shop Your Way points on all doorbusters found on the front and back covers of its Black Friday ad, a maneuver that not only incentivizes holiday spending in the short term but also engages prospects for return customers in the long term through integrating the department store’s app for its reward program (see story).

And last year, rolled out its third Beauty Tip workshop in the United States, enabling shoppers to take advantage of mobile-enabled experiences such as browsing products on in-store iPad stations and receiving customized digital makeover suggestions that can be emailed directly to their smartphones (see story).

“While overall retail grew by just 3 percent last year, mobile commerce is tracking to grow by a staggering amount, fueled by streamlined checkout solutions, increasing consumer willingness to transact via mobile and better marketing by my retailers, who now see mobile as the platform to focus on for growth,” Ms. Troutman said.