Facebook IQ on Mobile Commerce: ‘The Thumb Is in Charge’

One for the thumb: Facebook IQ saluted humans’ indispensable digit in a recent study of mobile commerce.

One for the thumb: Facebook IQ saluted humans’ indispensable digit in a recent study of mobile commerce.

Facebook IQ cited data from eMarketer projecting that retail mobile commerce sales in the U.S. will reach $74 billion this year, a 32 percent rise from 2014, and that it will soar to some $149 billion by 2019.

Examining conversions from January through May, Facebook IQ found that three out of every 10 online purchases took place via mobile devices—24 percent on phones and 6 percent on tablets—and the frequency of mobile purchases rose 35 percent.

Facebook IQ said it sees the percentage of mobile purchases rising 30 percent in the fourth quarter, adding that 56 percent of omni-channel shoppers said they made purchases via mobile devices due to convenience and 55 percent saying that they can do so “anywhere, anytime.” The social network’s research arm added that 60 percent say they will start purchasing or purchase more via their smartphones in 2016.

Desktop and laptop computers still hold the screen-size advantage, as Facebook IQ found that 54 percent of omni-channel shoppers find it easier to use bigger screens and see all available products on one screen, while 26 percent experienced difficulty comparing products or retailers, getting all the information they needed and entering personal data via smartphones.

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Facebook IQ also offered Thumb Is In Charge Magazine for download, the video below featuring Facebook head of global consumer insights Erin Hunter Sills and the following takeaways for marketers:

  • Think people, not devices: It’s tempting for us to think in terms of channels or devices, but it’s always been about people. To reach the right people in the right place at the right time, we need to understand how and where they engage, discover and share.
  • Know the journey: The path from connection to conversion isn’t always a straight line, with people switching devices and channels at will. The more complete the measurement picture, the better we can account for mobile’s role in driving buying behavior—both online and offline.
  • Design for the thumb: Stopping the thumb takes more than mobile design; it takes personalization, visualization and experimentation. Above all, it takes empathy. The more we can put ourselves in people’s shoes and understand their experience, the better experience we can create.

Readers: Do you give Facebook IQ’s “The Thumb Is In Charge” report thumbs-up or thumbs-down?

david.cohen@adweek.com David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.