Did you know that the first device to be referred to as a smartphone was made by IBM? It was 1994 when the IBM Simon Personal Communicator was released. The device featured a touchscreen and also enabled users to send emails.

Fast forward to today, and smartphones have evolved considerably since the 90s. Wherever you look, you’ll spot somebody typing away on their smartphone.

Everyone appears to have one, with teenagers tweeting away and others vigorously sending out important emails. A mobile device has become a major part of our lives. So much that people are suffering injuries due to their extensive usage of their devices.

And it’s because of this continuous usage of smartphones, and increasing adoption of wireless devices which has given rise to mobile commerce (m-commerce). Which is no surprise given that a study by the PEW Internet Center found that 56% of American adults are now smartphone owners – an increase of 10% from May 2012 and 21% from February 2011.

M-commerce is similar to e-commerce, in the sense that products are bought and sold over the internet. However the main difference here is that the process of buying and selling is done through a handheld device, typically a smartphone, an ebook reader or a tablet.

Ever since Android and iOS were introduced, we’ve seen a plethora of mobile applications developed in order to extend the functionality of these devices. Add increased computing power into the mix, and you’ve got yourself a mobile revolution on your hands.

It’s no surprise that the rise of m-commerce has coincided with the development of mobile technology. Which has given us a capable computer that’s easily pocketable (except for those 6” Padphones).

And herein lies the main attraction for smartphones and tablets alike – these devices are with you all the time. Meaning folks can buy and sell products wherever they are. On a side note: If you are building an app and you need an easy way to monetize it and accept in-app payments check out our Mobile SDK for iOS and Android.

The following infographic (courtesy of Invesp) illustrates the growth potential of m-commerce. Below you’ll find 30 statistics everybody needs to know about mobile commerce sales. Unfortunately it is derived from US statistics – but we are seeing similar growth and potential in Europe. Here are three great statistics you might want to check out first:

  1. By 2015, US Mobile commerce retail sales are expected to account for 24% of total e-commerce sales
  2. M-commerce retail sales are expected to be worth $86.86 Billion by 2016
  3. 74% of online retailers have already, or are currently developing a mobile strategy

Discover 27 other statistics by scrolling down and checking out this interesting infographic:

Kostas Papageorgiou

Kostas specialises in content marketing and community management, who's focused on helping tech companies increase brand awareness and engagement to boost conversions.