Amazon, Apple drive U.S. mobile commerce sales surge

Many U.S. merchants that place mobile at the core of their e-commerce strategy are reaping big rewards. The 366 U.S. retailers in the 2015 Mobile 500, released today by Internet Retailer, will reach m-commerce sales of $59 billion in 2014, up 74% from $34 billion in 2013. Mobile sales will account for 23% of total 2014 online sales of the U.S. merchants in the 2015 Mobile 500. By contrast, e-retail sales in the U.S. grew 15.7% in Q2 2014, according to the Commerce Department.

With their combined $30.8 billion in 2014 mobile sales, No. 1-ranked Inc. and No 2.-ranked Apple Inc. command a 37% share of total Mobile 500 m-commerce sales, the 2015 Mobile 500 finds. But since the mobile commerce market is far from mature, there’s still plenty of room for growth and new players, both domestically and internationally. There are 134 overseas retailers in the 2015 Mobile 500, and they’re expected to reach $25 billion in m-commerce sales in 2014, up an impressive 96% from $13 billion in 2013. The Mobile 500 estimates that the world’s 500 largest mobile commerce businesses combined will increase their mobile sales by 80% in 2014 to more than $84 billion.

The quantum leap in mobile sales growth worldwide prompts many retailers to prioritize their tech spending and match consumers’ online shopping behavior, which leans toward mobile shopping on apps as opposed to shopping on a mobile web site. A breakdown of 2014 app sales as percentage of total mobile sales is just one of the many new metrics the 2015 Mobile 500 provides. The research guide analyzes the world’s 500 leading mobile commerce merchants by 53 data elements—including mobile traffic, site speed on smartphones, mobile conversion rate, mobile average ticket, a breakdown of mobile sales between smartphones and tablets, key vendors used, and dozens of other metrics.

“Mobile commerce is like a hurricane rearranging the coastline of e-retailing,” observes Internet Retailer publisher and chairman Jack Love, in a statement. “For e-retailers trying to ride the wave rather than being swamped by it, the 2015 Mobile 500 is a survival guide to e-commerce in the mobile age.”

The 2015 Mobile 500 has been expanded by 25% and is available in a 384-page print as well as a digital version. The guide’s data can also be accessed through an online subscription to

Source: Internet Retailer


  1. Amazon is selling everything from Digital Downloads to almost same day groceries (Amazon Fresh). Apple is primarily selling only digital media, Phones, tablets and computers.

    Bezos is bitched about as commonly as Tim Cook for not paying out dividends as he pours most of the profit back into the company. If he can finish what he started without a palace coup from investors the company will be very, very profitable in a way brick and mortar will not likely ever be able to copy due to the massive costs of the infrastructure. Amazon is automating much of it’s formerly labor intensive storage and distribution which will lower labor costs, increase productivity and allow them to squeeze less efficient competitors.

    1. That sounds almost like a press release.

      It may be true, but I doubt it. Amazon is not the only one game in town, and its profit margins are so razor thin, any swings in retail commerce can grossly affect their profitability. Wall Streets seems to be betting huge on AMZN (judging by the P/E ratio), but the odds are very, very long.

      1. Amazon is running in razor thin profits because it is reinvesting in new business and improvement of existing businesses.

        Labor costs are the big point of cost reduction at fulfillment centers and Amazon is pouring tons of money into automation which will make for less expensive and more efficient packing. Their investment in web services- a business many do not realize they are involved in sits right in a sweet spot for the future of Amazon. Amazon Fresh continues a slow but steady roll out as they have learned how to do groceries in a cost efficient way and more cities will be coming online. There is more, but Bezos is running Amazon like a startup, not as a profit machine. Wall Street wants him to slow down and pay a dividend. That is how companies die.

        The greater point is that Amazon is doing a wide variety of things and Apple is doing a few things fairly well. Both are huge and one is not as profitable, but is building out infrastructure for future success that will be difficult for potential competitors to duplicate. Amazon and Apple are really not competitors. Wal-Mart and Amazon are as Amazon scares Wal-Mart to death.

        Wal-Mart is stagnant and has a structure that is extremely sensitive to fuel costs, is very labor intensive and has a brand that most middle class customers see as a place to buy toilet paper and fertilizer- not fashion, technology or other high markup products. Amazon has invested in delivery systems for physical content, digital media, web services, etc.
        Kindles, Fire Tablets and Phones are not where the money is, just like Gillette knows the money is not in selling razors. Amazon is a lean company that delivers products and services to people wherever they are- online. They are not an Apple wannabe.

        1. Amazon’s margins are razor-thin, not because they are re-investing them (and they are), but because their competitors require them to be. When you buy a product for $100 and sell it for $100,35, your profit margin is 0.35%. That means that for every $100M you put in, your profit will be $350k.

          Amazon is still burning cash more often than not. They are spreading themselves anywhere and everywhere, making hardware (hoping to sell content), moving into cloud services (hoping to compete with Apple, Google, Microsoft and others, who know what they’re doing), not to mention still selling physical goods at ridiculously minuscule profit margins.

          There is nothing lean about Amazon; it has become a massive galimatias of services that are marginally related to each other, all of them developed with one purpose, to please Wall Street and sustain absurdly high valuation of stock.

          One thing it isn’t a serious competitor to Apple.

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