In the early years of smartphones, industry experts weren’t expecting them to have a great effect on online shopping behavior. At the time, the screens were just too small and it seemed too inconvenient to go through a checkout process without a proper keyboard. Now, seven years after the launch of the first iPhone, we can safely say that smartphones have become a viable shopping channel for many Americans.
Thanks to larger screens, mobile optimized online shops, dedicated smartphone apps and easy check-out/payment options, and of course tablets, mobile devices now account for nearly 1 in 4 dollars spent online in the United States. According to comScore figures, the degree to which online shoppers have gone mobile depends strongly on the product category. As our chart illustrates, the mobile share of e-commerce spending ranges from 13 percent (computer hardware) to 58 percent in the toys & hobbies category. Across all categories, mobile devices accounted for 23 percent of e-commerce spending in Q3 2017, up from just 2 percent in Q3 2010.