The mobile commerce market is heating up and while Samsung is coming on strong, Apple is still the go-to gateway for shopping on the go.

According to a report set to be released by analytics firm Custora Pulse today, Apple commands about 53.3 percent of mobile smartphone orders, followed by Samsung at 30.5 percent.

This story first appeared in the July 10, 2014 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

“That’s a lot closer than we thought it was going to be,” Corey Pierson, Custora cofounder and chief executive officer told WWD. In 2012, Apple dominated the market with 75 percent of all smartphone orders, with Samsung coming in at just 12 percent.

Brands have been rushing to grab mobile shoppers — which are collectively expected to spend $50 billion this year — but are faced with the decision of where to focus their development dollars. Currently, most brands chose to launch their apps on Apple’s iOS first and then roll out Android versions, which work on Samsung and most other smartphones.

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“Samsung is the only other brand [besides Apple] that’s really done a great job of putting together an effective device — from branding, to user interface, to hardware,” Pierson said. “Their unit sales corroborate that. They are the only brand that’s given Apple direct competition over the past couple of years.”

Samsung, though, has further to go in the tablet arena. Apple’s share of the tablet e-commerce business stands at about 80 percent, while Samsung’s is 12.5 percent (up from 2 percent in 2012). Amazon, a relatively newcomer to the tablet scene, makes up just over 4 percent of tablet orders.

Almost half of traffic to e-commerce sites now comes from mobile — or 47 percent as of the first quarter. But it’s converting mobile users into mobile shoppers that remains a big opportunity for brands, Pierson said.

The conversion rate for mobile users is significantly lower than those who use a desktop. On a desktop, the average conversion rate of 4.3 percent is more than three times higher than mobile’s, which is still just 1.4 percent.

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