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Mobile commerce will continue its growth in 2010

January 11, 2010

Kevin Grieve is CEO of Mocapay

Kevin Grieve is CEO of Mocapay

Analysts and industry insiders are predicting a big growth year for mobile commerce in 2010.

ABI Research ran a forecast of mobile sales of physical goods in North America in January 2009, which projected mobile commerce sales would reach $544 million in 2009, up 57 percent over 2008. But in October, it increased its forecast, saying sales would top $750 million in 2009, a 117 percent annual growth rate, showing that the space is growing faster than expected.

“The industry experts are predicting that mobile commerce is going to take off in 2010, and given our own indicators, we do too,” said Kevin Grieve, CEO of Mocapay, Denver. “We expect to see mobile commerce continue to grow in importance and adoption as retailers focus on their most loyal customers and stickiness.”

As big media brands and publishers scramble to come up with a strategy to monetize their content via mobile, various models are being explored, from pay-per-download applications to subscription services to micropayments.

Small screen for big screen
Rupert Murdoch is attempting to move forward with a paid model for Fox’s news content on mobile phones.

While mobile commerce will continue to grow in the media sector, the majority of the action in the space will continue to be in the retail sector.

“Mobile commerce will continue to increase in 2010,” said Nicola Smith, supervisor of emerging trends at Moxie Interactive, Atlanta. “Fifty-one percent of mobile commerce users have purchased consumer electronics via their mobile phone, and we continue to see that trend grow.

“Some of the highest purchase items on mobile are technology-based items such as PCs and laptops,” she said. “Look at Amazon—one of their highest selling items via mobile phones are flat-screen televisions.

“People go into the store to see the models, but then they go onto on their handset to compare prices—there’s an interesting cross-section between the brick-and-mortar and digital shopping environments.”

Mobile pays
Mobile payments is another area that is growing quickly, with new vendors and service providers cropping up seemingly every day.

The growth of mobile-commerce-oriented mobile sites and applications, as well as mobile payments for online goods and services, is driving growth in the space.

“A trend that is starting to really move in mobile applications is around payment processing,” said Scott Michaels, vice president at Atimi Software, Vancouver, British Columbia.

“Six months ago there was almost nothing in this space and now a new method is appearing every couple of weeks, some combined with hardware for magnetic-stripe reading, or full software-only solutions,” he said.

“This trend will continue and you will see some natural triage as the best solutions win end user support.”

Whatever area of the space you look at, expect major strides in 2010, as most retailers are finally starting to “get it.”

“We’re definitely getting a lot of questions about mobile—it’s definitely on everyone’s radar,” Ms. Smith said. “Brands are figuring out how to include mobile in their strategy in 2010.

“Believe me, there will be significant mobile spend,” she said.

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Dan Butcher is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach him at

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