The latest figures suggest that mobile devices are generating more e-commerce sales than ever before, with iPhone users proving to be the most likely to part with their cash.

This is obviously relevantiPhone Drives m-commerce Engagemen for webmasters, since it means that they not only need to take a closer look at the features of their m-commerce offering but might want to optimise the site with a particular focus on courting iPhone owners.

The stats come from Affiliate Window, which is an online marketing firm that handles ads for many vendors.

Over the course of May, it noted that sales generated by smartphones were up by a significant proportion, averaging 572 an hour.

The daily average originating from iPhone’s was 3,100 last month, with the sales made through mobile devices, including all tablets and smartphones, accounting for 18.1% of the total for the firm.

This is up from 16.48% in April, although if you exclude tablets from the equation, then smartphones were accountable for a slightly more modest 7.5% during May.

As well as showing that m-commerce sales are on the increase, the level of engagement offered on mobile devices was also highlighted as having an increasing influence on the e-commerce market.

Consumers in the UK are choosing to visit more websites using mobile phones, with mobile traffic accounting for 22.3% of Affiliate Window’s total last month.

This is certainly a significant amount and could herald the possibility that at some point in the future, the use of mobile devices for e-commerce browsing will exceed that of traditional laptop and desktop computers.

If this tipping point ever arrives, then there will be no excuses for webmasters who run online businesses not to have optimised the site for mobile visitors, or even developed a dedicated smartphone and tablet app, to handle customers who want to shop from a portable gadget rather than their PC.

Affiliate Window announced this month that in the first five months of 2013, it has recorded almost as many mobile sales as it did during the entire course of 2012, which indicates that there is rapid growth in this sector, which cannot be ignored.

There are obviously some specific tactics which can be used by webmasters who want to make a site that appeals to smartphone and tablet users, with some experts even claiming that these two groups need to be addressed separately, because of the differences in the hardware that they are using.

E-commerce web design needs to be sensitive to the fact that more people will be attempting to access a site from a mobile device and will probably expect that there is at least some version available to them which is easy to manipulate, using a touchscreen, rather than a mouse and keypad.

While some site owners might be concerned about the rise of m-commerce, the only real threat lies in the decision to do nothing about it and simply wait to see how things pan out, because this will definitely lead to disaster.