Mobile transactions to hit $730bn by 2017 as real-world purchases soar

By Windsor Holden

The value of remote transactions for digital and physical goods purchased via mobile devices is expected to exceed $730bn annually by 2017, a new report from Juniper Research has found.

According to the report, transaction growth will be driven by the increasing scale of real-world (non-digital) purchases from major brands and retailers, with companies such as Domino’s in the US and Argos in the UK already seeing 6-7% of all sales occurring via the mobile channel.

eRetail migrates to Mobile

The report – Mobile Payments for Digital & Physical Goods: Opportunity Analysis 2012-2017 – also noted that as consumer tablet adoption continues to rise, there will be significant migration of purchasing activity from laptops and desktops to tablet devices, with consumers increasingly engaging in online shopping while watching TV.

Indeed, it found the development of this “couch commerce” trend would result in mobile and nomadic devices accounting for 30% of eRetail within five years. However, it also observed that such transactions would continue to comprise a small minority of a global retail sales marketplace currently worth more than $16tn. <>We have already moved towards a multitasking, multimedia environment which offers brands the opportunity for far greater engagement with consumers than was previously the case. Mobile is increasingly being deployed at all touchpoints in the retail process – product discovery, product purchase, customer retention.

Mobile becomes a retail “hub”

In this regard, the report also noted the growing importance of the mobile device as a “hub”, marrying remote and physical purchases. It cited the example of the eBay Fashion App and Image Swatch, where consumers take or upload a photograph of an item to search for a product online. eBay is planning to enhance this application by enabling users to compare prices and item availability both online and via partner bricks-and-mortar stores: the end user can then pay for the item via PayPal before picking up the product from the local store.

Other key findings from the report include:

    • Digital goods sales continuing to rise in tandem with smartphone/tablet growth, particularly across lifestyle/infotainment applications.

    • Despite the dramatic increase in sales, transaction security remains an issue for consumers

The ‘Buy Now, Pay Mobile’ whitepaper is available to download from the Juniper website together with further details of the full report.

About the author

Dr. Windsor Holden is the author of the report, working for Juniper Research, which provides research and analytical services to the global hi-tech communications sector, providing consultancy, analyst reports and industry commentary.

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