How Apple is Crushing Google on Mobile Shopping

When it comes to Black Friday, mobile shopping has quickly become an important part of retailers’ success.
That was certainly the case this Black Friday, as mobile sales accounted for 26.1% of all online sales. This represents an increase of 24.7% compared to last year.
But the story isn’t just about the growth of mobile purchases. In reality, it’s more about how Apple is crushing Google when it comes to mobile shopping.
The chart below shows the percentage of Black Friday online sales generated through mobile devices, gathered from three different sources to reduce survey error.
The story it tells is that users of iOS – Apple’s (Nasdaq: AAPL) mobile operating system – outspent users of Android – Google’s (Nasdaq: GOOGL) mobile operating system – by around 3 to 1.
12.3.14 Android vs Apple Black Friday
Data from all three sources reveals that iOS users massively outspent Android users when it comes to purchases made on mobile devices. That’s a big deal considering Apple’s share of the mobile market hovers just below 12% – far below the Android’s 72% market share.
Though Samsung’s market share is declining, several other new players have entered the market with their own Android devices. Apple’s own market share has been continuously squeezed lower.
Smartphone Market Share 12.3.14
Still, the massive discrepancy between Android’s dominance in market share and Apple’s dominance in mobile shopping has to be encouraging for Apple shareholders.
There is one more key fact to be gleaned from this year’s Black Friday mobile sales data.
While iOS users spent a lot of time browsing their iPhones, many of them actually placed orders and completed transactions using their iPads. This casts doubt on the concerns voiced by investors in the wake of weak iPad sales data.
Perhaps iPad sales weren’t as strong as expected. But it seems clear that iPad users are using their devices in a way that they used to use a PC.
You might be wondering how it is that Apple is crushing Google on mobile shopping. I came up with two possible reasons:
Reason No. 1: iOS users are used to spending money on their devices
Per estimates from BI Intelligence, Apple has nearly 1 billion payment cards on file.
Apple Payment Cards on File 12.3.14
Even if you assume each user has multiple cards on file with Apple, that still means hundreds of millions of people are used to spending money through their iOS devices.
Apple’s ecosystem is set up to make spending money easier and seamless, whether it is integration of a fingerprint scanner, Apple Pay or the simplicity of the iTunes store and app market.
Reason No. 2: Demographics: Apple users tend to make more money and spend more time and money on their devices
According to data published by comScore in August, the average iPhone user earns $24,000 more per year and spends nine hours per month more on their devices than their Android peers.
Though there are more Android users, Apple users have more money, spend more money and spend more time on their phones. What’s more, because there are fewer of these users and they are more valuable than Android users, spending on advertising and shopping platforms offer – in theory – significantly higher rates of return for retailers.
This means that if you’re a retailer with a limited advertising budget or limited dollars to develop a retail platform, the choice to target iOS users over Android users is an obvious one.
Put simply, Apple is crushing Google on mobile shopping because its users are more affluent and more likely to be mobile shoppers. Despite concerns over iPad sales and mobile market share, this bodes extremely well for Apple shareholders – including myself.
Disclosure: I personally own shares of Apple.

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