In just two years, nearly half of all e-commerce transactions are likely to occur on mobile phones.

Following serious investment from brands, mobile has moved from a pre-purchase tool to a place where users are actually clicking the “buy” button — be that on their sofa or the train to work.

“Retailers and brands are finally realizing they need to think about mobile as a complete channel in its own right,” said Andrew Pearl, director of strategy and insight for Europe at Profitero.

Apps are king, for now

App downloads are slowing globally but spending within apps remains robust.

global app vs browser share of retail mobile transactions

A mobile commerce report from Criteo found that apps accounted for 54 percent of retail transactions in Q2, a 7 percent rise from the same period last year. The study looked at 3,300 online retailers worldwide.

While mobile browsers had seen bigger baskets in the past, Criteo’s report found customers will now spend more in a retailer’s app, with the average order at $127 (£102). Browsers net only $95 (£76) on average.

Stewart Emerson, director of product marketing at Criteo, said the mobile web is catching up with apps with user experience. However, apps remain king for now.

“Of the top retailers who are winning on mobile, a large part of their story is winning on app,” he said.

Millennials are using their mobiles while in-store

Millennials spend a lot of time on their mobile: GlobalWebIndex puts the figure for 16- to 24-year-olds at 3.26 hours daily.

As such, members of that age group tend to be more comfortable making purchases online. Beyond that, more than 40 percent said they use their devices to research products and compare prices, too.

Millennials reach for their mobile phone far more often

The group was also likely to use their smartphone to find coupons and “pin” products to buy at a later date.

“Young people are growing up with this mentality that the shopping experience is omnichannel,” said Profitero’s Pearl.

Read rest of the article at DigiDay