Mobile’s role in e-commerce

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By Margot Bonhomme, Marketing Manager @Botfuel - November 23, 2020

E-commerce has grown in recent years. A development that would not have been possible without the widespread use of smartphones (and new associated uses). It offers consumers the possibility of looking, benchmarking, ordering, and monitoring their purchases from wherever they want. The mobile, both a product/service sales channel and a web-to-store facilitator, is a vector of the omnichannel dynamic. However, many brands are still hesitant to bet on it. Zoom in on this new e-commerce El Dorado.

Mobile is exploding

Mobile is exploding whatever the sector: 16.3 million French people have made purchases from their mobile during the last 12 months (1). 49% of mobile e-shoppers buy on the Internet at least once a month. It now accounts for 40% of overall turnover and has thus become the leading source of traffic for many sectors:

  • Luxury (67%)
  • Retail / Fashion (66%)
  • Cosmetics (66%)
  • Travel (51%)
  • Large distribution (57%)
  • Automotive (57%)
  • Energy (39%)
  • Home and High Tech (56%)
  • Financial Services (39%) According to FEVAD, the majority of mobile purchases remain products at 64%. It is followed closely by services (41%), then applications (18%), and finally dematerialized subscriptions to cultural products (17%).

Mobile’s part in e-commerce

These figures have caught the attention of brands. And for good reason. Mobile attracts youth and boosts sales. In addition to purchases via mobile, Internet purchasing from mobile has exploded: + 3.1 million in 2019, or + 23.7% over one year. Thus, 3 in 10 people now buy from their phones.

It also makes it easier to engage and offers a new customer journey alternative. And consumers love it. Mobile makes life easier. For 89%, it is useful for preparing and making purchases. For 87%, it is useful outdoors to find a product and/or point of sale. Besides, m-buyers have crossed the first barriers to purchasing on mobile. The average basket is increasing as can be seen in the tourism sector, which now reaches an average of around €1,400.

Fnac-Darty, for example, uses mobile phones as a source of information for its products. It transcribes it into its omnichannel strategy. Everything related to waiting in-store is addressed via their mobile application, designed as an extension of their website. Locating a product in-store, looking for a salesperson, or waiting at the checkout: everything has a solution on the application.

Still some way to go

Despite these very positive statistics, m-commerce still knows obstacles. Brands are struggling to establish themselves on mobile. They continue to use traditional digital channels such as SMS, emails, and social networks.

Also, the mobile experience is lagging and may scare some users. This has an impact on conversion rates, twice as high on desktop than on mobile (between 2 and 3.5% depending on the sector against 1.7%). Why? While there are already a lot of barriers to buying on a desktop, those are increasing even more on mobile. For example, on average 53% of visitors leave a site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. However, the average loading time of e-commerce sites is around 2.39 seconds on mobile.


Mobile is starting to gain ground but still has a long way to go before it catches up with the desktop. Brands are reluctant to enter this field and more recurring technical problems can hold back potential buyers. Beyond mobile, many trends are starting to emerge. But what are they?

(1) Médiamétrie

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