People love shopping online. Going by recent trends, they love shopping on their smartphones more. Industry figures estimate that while 2013 was all about messaging apps, 2014 saw E-commerce catching up on smartphones in a big way.
While the overall global app usage grew 76% in 2014, in comparison to 2013, usage of E-commerce apps saw a 174% jump in 2014 (Refer to Graph: Mobile App Usage Growth by Category). Shopping via Android-based devices grew about 220% in the same year, when compared to the previous year. It would be safe to say that a lot of this usage on Android comes from emerging markets, since it is these markets where Android is seeing maximum adoption. Furthermore, interesting in m-commerce apps across emerging markets is as high as 58% as opposed to the global figure which is close to 49%.
Why have the connected consumer's habits changed? While we've always talked about mobile becoming the first choice for all content consumption, E-commerce businesses too have realized that their consumer today is always on mobile and these companies have gone mobile-first with their business strategies, encouraging consumers to shop more via mobile apps.
On the device front, payment systems have matured and work equally well on mobile platforms. Shopping via mobile apps is easy, instant, location independent, making it hugely popular among mobile consumers.
While E-commerce apps are seeing an increase in usage, mobile games which were the mainstay of mobile content, are seeing a steady demand. While the growth in gaming app usage has slowed down, going from 61% in 2013 to 30% in 2014, the overall usage per se, has not gone down.
According to IDC estimates, mobile games continue to enjoy popularity among users, with 44% of all smartphones and tablets globally today being used for gaming. In fact, the global mobile gamer base is today pegged at 1 billion. Annual mobile game downloads will grow from close to 35 billion in 2014 to 60 billion in 2018. (Refer to Graph: Mobile Game Downloads)
As mobile steadily becomes the first screen of all content consumption, we will see a variety of content being accessed through smartphones. Gaming has and will continue to see steady adoption on mobile, but as consumers get more comfortable transacting via smartphones, apps such as E-commerce and banking will see higher adoption in the coming days. Needless to say, going beyond just multimedia and communication, mobile is becoming an all-pervasive part of our daily lives.