Highlights from the mobile marketing and commerce report

Tim Carr

Operations Director


Econsultancy recently published the Mobile Marketing and Commerce Report 2013 which surveyed more than 500 companies on their commitment to mobile as part of their marketing strategy. The rise of mobile has been long-predicted so I thought it worthwhile to check out the findings of the report.

Ecommerce revenue accounts for 29% of total revenues

The UK leads the way with 31% of revenue generated through ecommerce channels, slightly ahead of the rest of Europe at 30%. Asia-Pacific and Australia generate 28% and 25% of their revenue through ecommerce channels respectively. These percentages only serve to demonstrate the significance of ecommerce globally and how comfortable most consumers are shopping online.

Mobile commerce accounts for 10% of ecommerce revenues

Asia-Pacific countries lead the way with 13% of ecommerce revenue being generated by mobile, followed by the UK at 11% with Australia and the rest of Europe at 8%. A number of Asia-Pacific countries have long been early-adopters of new technology so the higher percentage in the Asia-Pacific region isn’t a surprise.

Mobile still has some further ground to gain; 73% of respondents are generating revenue from mobile, but 90% are generating revenue through other ecommerce channels.

Companies in Asia are most likely to have a mobile strategy

Overall, 39% of companies have a mobile strategy, but in Asia-Pacific that increases to just over half (52%), another effect of the early-adoption of mobile and smartphones in Asia. Looking to the future, 67% of respondents indicate that mobile will become fundamental to their marketing strategy in the next 12 months, indicating that mobile is being seen as more important in marketing efforts. Notable is the difference between European (non-UK) respondents and respondents in all the other regions; only 43% of European (non-UK) respondents indicate that mobile will become a fundamental part of marketing strategy.

Marketing spend and revenue

Looking at the overall percentages of marketing spend allocated to mobile, and mobiles share of overall commerce, mobile spend appears to be on the healthy-side.

Mobile Revenue vs Marketing Budget

This indicates a disproportionately high share of mobile marketing spend given the share of total revenue.

Most respondents (75%) don’t allocate a specific budget to mobile, perhaps indicating that specific budgets are required to ensure ROI, and perhaps focus more on the attribution front. Increased traffic to mobile websites is the dominant metric for measuring effectiveness of mobile, with ROI only the 4th most important with less than a third (31%) using this metric. However…

More companies are planning to increase their mobile budget

Overall 70% of companies are planning to increase their mobile marketing budget in the next 12 months; however Europe (non-UK) respondents are significantly less likely to do so in the next 12 months, perhaps as a result of the challenging economic environment. Similarly, UK respondents have the highest average planned increase in spending (32%).

Mobile assisted shopping is increasing

Showrooming is a widely-understood concept of consumers using stores to research before buying online to pay less or for the convenience of home delivery, however the survey suggests there could be a disconnect: 67% of retailers see customer use of smartphones in store increasing, but only 11% see mobile as a threat to revenue. However with the rise in ecommerce (including mobile commerce), perhaps these same retailers are benefitting by increasing their ecommerce revenue. 2% of retailers do actually prevent consumers using smartphones in store, which despite the challenges retailers are facing seems severe.

While writing this piece I found separate research from Comscore across Germany, Spain, France, Italy and the UK , which indicates the most-popular use of a smartphone in-store is to take a picture of a product, which could back up retailers view that smartphones are not much of a threat.

Mobile Revenue vs Marketing Budget

In summary, mobile is growing in significance and more companies are considering mobile as part of their strategy, but there are differences across regions and if ROI becomes a higher priority in measurement, perhaps budgets might not rise as much as respondents think.