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Number of mobile shoppers expected to increase 50pc by 2014: study

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October 10, 2012

Fueled by greater consumer confidence in mobile shopping, the number of users buying from their handsets will increase 50 percent in the next two years, according to a report from Juniper Research.

Juniper Research’s “Mobile Payments for Digital and Physical Goods: Opportunity Analysis 2012 – 2017” report looks at how mobile commerce will not only affect bricks-and-mortar stores but also ecommerce sites.  In addition to an increase in the number of mobile shoppers, consumers will also buy from their mobile devices more frequently with larger shopping baskets.

“I would say that the absolutely critical finding is the migration of desktop ecommerce retail transactional activity across to mobile and nomadic devices, particularly the tablet,” said Dr. Windsor Holden, principal analyst at Juniper Research, Hampshire, England.

“This makes the context of the transaction all the more important,” he said. “For example, in many cases consumers are and will be browsing on the tablet and smartphone while watching TV, offering the opportunity for brands to emphasize the connection between the content on the primary screen — the TV — and the product on offer on the secondary screen.

“Furthermore, average purchases made on tablets are already significantly higher than their equivalent on the desktop, and we would imagine that for both tablets and smartphones, the size and scale of transactions will increase as this migration continues, with a greater proportion of higher value transactions moving to smart devices.”

Consumer trust
Per the Juniper findings, mobile shoppers will total 580 million consumers by 2014. This is an increase from the 393 million expected shoppers in 2012.

Juniper attributes the growth to an uptick in consumer trust to browse content and buy from their handsets.

The study advises retailers to think about mobile as a significant revenue channel for the future versus the notion that mobile is just another opportunity for sales.

The global gross transaction value from mobile payments will total $730 billion by 2017, representing an average annual increase of 25 percent. To compare, the global gross transaction value for mobile payments in 2012 is expected to reach $254 billion.

The study also looked at which areas of the world will contribute to the greatest amount of mobile payments.

The global findings represent the gross merchandise sales transaction values per region. North America and the Far East and China region will bring in 70 percent to the total market, according to the report.  Additionally, a strong predicted growth in China will accumulate to a 15 percent growth from 2012 – 2017.

The Indian subcontinent will also be an area to watch with an expected annual growth rate of 50 percent.

Optimization hinderance
Despite the uptick in mobile shopping, the report says that retailers without a mobile presence will hinder the industry, particularly with mobile sites.

Per the report, the majority of retailer sites are not optimized for three components – browsing, registration and purchasing.

In addition to retailers stepping up their mobile game, payment providers will also need to develop billing systems to help consumers feel more comfortable buying over their devices, which includes security and a strong user interface.

Additionally, the increase in HTML5 will change the ways that consumers shop, per Dr. Holden.

“Native apps predominate at present, which is understandable, but with the advent of HTML5 we should see far greater browser-based activity as an increasing proportion of retailers optimize their sites for mobile registration and purchasing,” Dr. Holden said.

“Mobile per se should now be integral to brand and retailer strategy — those that fail to implement a mobile strategy will inevitably fall behind,” he said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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