As its $800 million acquisition by eBay is set to close, payments processor Braintree has started seeing a big spike in purchases on mobile phones this holiday season. On Cyber Monday, the company saw its mobile transaction volume jump 164 percent over the previous year, which CEO Bill Ready believes marks the beginning of a big shift in e-commerce to mobile devices.
Cyber Monday was Braintree’s highest-volume day of the year when it came to mobile purchases. It processed $16.6 million in phone and tablet transactions from its more than 4,000 customers, which include the likes of Uber, Airbnb and Fab.com.
Braintree’s customer base is a much more mobile-inclined group than a typical payment company. Braintree began as kind of a startup’s startup, powering the transactions of the new breed of e-commerce and collaborative consumption companies coming out of Silicon Valley. Some of its customers like Uber are solely mobile outfits when it comes to payment. Ready readily admits its numbers are far more skewed toward m-commerce than the typical online payments processor.
But Ready said he believes Braintree’s recent jump in mobile transactions indicates not just a growing willingness among consumers to make purchases with their phones, but an actual pent up demand among to use their phones as a buying tool.
When it comes to casual shopping on mobile (browsing not buying), Ready said, Braintree customers’ traffic is about the same as the rest of the industry: about half of shopping sessions. But when it comes to closing the deal – hitting the actual “purchase” button, Ready said, Braintree’s transaction rate is much higher: more than 30 percent compared to 15 percent for the rest of the industry. Ready credits that to its mobile-focused merchants making their mobile apps and websites purchase friendly.
Though Cyber Monday was Braintree’s biggest mobile purchasing day, the company found that the bump in mobile transaction remained consistent throughout the Thanksgiving weekend and the days after. A third of Braintree’s $12 billion in annual transactions already comes from mobile commerce, and Ready expects that percentage to increase at a rapid clip.
Ready had one final observation: While purchasing on tablets is increasing, purchasing on mobile phones is growing far faster. A lot of that is explained by the fact that a lot more people have smartphones than tablets. But Ready thinks it’s also due to consumers’ increasing comfort levels with the smartphone and the convenience of shopping from a pocketable device. Tablets were the training wheels for m-commerce, he said, but thanks to the growing sophistication of mobile apps, m-commerce is becoming a smartphone-driven market.
Feature image courtesy of Shutterstock user Vector Market