Feature Article

August 08, 2012

Mobile Transactions will Likely Hit $730 Billion by 2017

We've recently looked at where mobile-based commerce is headed, and we've drawn the conclusion, from both a general market perspective and from an NFC-enabled mobile payments perspective that mobile commerce is poised to take off in a big way. A new Juniper report that has just been released and that is focused on Mobile Payments for Digital & Physical Goods concludes that the mobile transactions market will grow to a substantial $730 billion by 2017 - a number that is larger than we might have anticipated.

According to the report, transaction growth will be driven by the increasing scale of mobile anytime anywhere purchases (at the expense of what is now traditional desktop/online based purchasing) from major brands and retailers, with companies such as Domino’s in the U.S. and Argos in the UK already seeing six to seven percent of all sales occurring via the mobile channel. The report notes that as consumer tablet adoption in particular continues to rise, there will be significant ongoing migration of purchasing activity from laptops and desktops to tablet devices.

Interestingly, the report finds that consumers are increasingly engaging in online shopping while watching TV - spurned on by the ease of grabbing a wireless tablet and tapping away. Juniper's research in fact points to the very real development of what Juniper only half-jokingly refers to as “couch commerce” - a trend that will likely result in mobile devices accounting for as much as 30 percent of mobile commerce growth over the next five years.

To keep things in perspective, we will note that even with the enormous predicted jump in mobile-driven sales, mobile transactions will remain a small part of the overall global retail sales marketplace. The overall market is estimated to currently be worth more than $16 trillion.

Report author Dr. Windsor Holden points out that “We have already moved towards a multitasking, multimedia environment that offers brands the opportunity for far greater engagement with consumers than was previously the case. Mobile is increasingly being deployed at all touch points in the retail process – product discovery, product purchase, and customer retention.”

The anytime, anywhere (and couch commerce) nature and reality of mobile commerce means that these touch points literally come from far more numerous places than was once the case. Essentially, the mobile device truly becomes the commerce hub that marries both remote and physical purchases.

As an example of the mobile transaction hub the Juniper report makes note of eBay's 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 quickly 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. All of this will be done through mobile devices.

An extract of Juniper's full report is available here, Buy Now, Pay Mobile.

Want to learn more about today’s powerful mobile Internet ecosystem? Then be sure to attend the Mobility Tech Conference & Expo, collocated with ITEXPO West 2012 taking place Oct. 2-5 2012, in Austin, TX. Co-sponsored by TMC Partner Crossfire Media the Mobility Tech Conference & Expo provides unmatched networking opportunities and a robust conference program representing the mobile ecosystem. The conference not only brings together the best and brightest in the wireless industry, it actually spans the communications and technology industry. For more information on registering for the Mobility Tech Conference & Expo click here.

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Tony Rizzo has spent over 25 years in high tech publishing and joins MobilityTechzone after a stint as Editor in Chief of Mobile Enterprise Magazine, which followed a two year stretch on the mobile vendor side of the world. Tony also spent five years as the Director of Mobile Research for 451 Research. Before his jump into mobility Tony spent a year as a publishing consultant for CMP Media, and served as the Editor in Chief of Internet World, NetGuide and Network Computing. He was the founding Technical Editor of Microsoft Systems Journal.

Edited by Brooke Neuman

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