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Smartphone users are spending more money each time they visit a website

Faster mobile speeds could mean more money for online retailers.

Rani Molla is a senior correspondent at Vox and has been focusing her reporting on the future of work. She has covered business and technology for more than a decade — often in charts — including at Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal.

Each time Americans visit retail websites on their phones, they’re spending less time but more money.

The amount of money people spent per visit to online retailers has increased 27 percent since the beginning of 2015, according to new data from Adobe Analytics. Meanwhile, the length of smartphone website visits has actually declined 10 percent.

That means people are getting more comfortable spending on mobile — as long as the experience is quick and easy. Retailers have been making their websites faster, and have in general made online purchasing simpler.

Sales have increased on desktop and tablet, as well, but they’re being outpaced by the growth in mobile sales:

Adobe expects that faster cellular connections through 5G will increase mobile sales — to the tune of $12 billion a year in 2021 — since people are more likely to complete purchases on faster connections. In the meantime, faster, simpler websites could help.

Mobile sales still accounted for a minority — 23 percent — of the $108 billion in online sales Adobe measured last holiday season, but they’re growing much faster than desktop or tablet revenue.

Note that even though smartphone users are spending less time on each website visit, they are spending more time online overall. Since January 2015, there’s been a nearly 90 percent increase in smartphone web visits in the U.S., while traffic from tablets and desktop has declined. Overall web traffic was basically flat in that time.

Adobe Analytics based its data on analysis of a trillion visits to more than 5,000 websites from January 2015 to December 2017.

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