With more and more consumers choosing to use portable devices to make online purchases, there are clear indications that webmasters need to adapt to embrace this audience, or face falling by the wayside as better prepared rivals reap the rewards of being flexible.

A number of statistics revealed this month indicate the extent to which the e-commerce market is being impacted by mobile activities, so if you are still on the fence about optimising site design to accommodate smartphone and tablet users, this might be enough to convince you that the future is immutably mobile.

Interestingly, the latest figures from Custora revealed that Apple’s dominance of the m-commerce market has started to slide southwards, largely as a result of the rise of Samsung. Just over half of all online purchases made from mobile devices in the first quarter of 2014 were attributable to Apple-branded handsets, while Samsung managed to account for a 30.5 per cent share.

Overall, it is still desktop PCs and laptops that are used for most e-commerce interactions, with a 63.1 per cent stake registered this year. And smartphones are leading tablets, with 24.5 per cent, against 12.4 per cent of purchases each.

In a separate report from TNS, analysts looked at the way in which consumers are using their portable devices to carry out online shopping, with particular attention paid to the act of multi-screening.

Forty eight per cent of the 50,000 respondents to the global study said that they use their smartphones and tablets for other digital activities during the evenings when they are also watching the television. This, of course, presents problems and opportunities alike for advertisers and e-commerce site owners.

Multi-screening culture could result in reduced engagement with sites and promotions on any of the devices being used, yet there is also an opportunity for a kind of cross-pollination effect to occur, with the sphere of influence extending from one platform to another.

A report published by xAd and Telmetrics this month, found that when it comes to determining how consumers carry out e-commerce purchases, from searching for an item to committing to a transaction, mobile is on the ascent.

Forty six per cent of respondents to the study said that their smartphone or tablet was now the primary device through which they were making decisions to buy goods or services online. In addition, almost two thirds revealed that their most recent interaction with their portable device of choice had occurred in the home, irrespective of the fact that they also had easy access to a desktop PC in this environment.

Thirty seven per cent of those questioned said that not only were mobiles an important tool for e-commerce, but also something they had used in the past to fuel offline purchases. Consumers are looking up business information and store locations on smartphones, meaning that businesses which operate both online and on the high street will be better off, if they have mobile optimised sites and contact details that are readily available.