Services & Software

Mobile shopping bringing in $20 billion annually -- study

Shoppers spent $5 billion while using tablets over the past 12 months, a trend that's going to keep growing, says Javelin Strategy and Research.

Shopping on mobile devices has become a $20 billion business, according to a mobile spending study released today by Javelin Strategy and Research.

The report, based on three online surveys of mobile phone owners and a survey of mobile device owners, found that consumers spent more than $20.7 billion over the past year while shopping on mobile devices -- with $5 billion of that spent through tablets.

The firm said the popularity of shopping on tablets will double within the next three years. The larger handheld devices have bigger screens than their smartphone counterparts, making it more comfortable for shoppers to hit the checkout button. Based on the surveys, consumers spent an average of $10 more per purchase using a tablet versus a mobile device.

Mary Monahan, executive vice president and research director of mobile at Javelin, said the shopping industry needs to keep up with this change by creating better mobile apps instead of just relying on mobile-formatted sites.

"Apps engage consumers to make purchases," she said. "With the upcoming holidays, retailers must prepare for the mobile shopping trend or lose out on the opportunity to convert browsers into buyers."

Javelin said its report also makes note of the difference in performance from different types of tablets, such as the Kindle Fire versus the iPad, and offers case studies of the mobile experiences of American Express and Amazon.