Mobile shopper numbers to increase by 50%

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The number of consumers purchasing physical goods remotely via their mobile handsets is expected to increase by nearly 50% over the next two years, a new report from Juniper Research has found.

According to the report, the strong growth – taking user numbers to 580 million by the end of 2014, up from 393 million this year – is the direct result of greater consumer confidence in the mobile device as both a content browsing and payment mechanism. It also reflects the increasing importance of mobile as an eRetail channel, with retailers witnessing a marked uplift in mobile as a proportion of online transactions.

Indeed, the report also found that both the average size and scale of purchases would continue to rise markedly, bolstered by larger volumes of regular, higher-value transactions such as the weekly shop.

However, the report cautioned that growth continued to be constrained by the fact that a majority of retailer sites are still not optimised for mobile browsing, registration or purchasing. According to report author Dr Windsor Holden, ‘Consumers increasingly expect to be able to buy their products and services via their smartphones and tablets. Companies which do not offer this option face falling behind their competitors.’

Furthermore, the report pointed out that concerns about transaction security were still paramount amongst end users, although the scale of these concerns was not yet being translated into consumer adoption of security solutions on the handset.

Other key findings from the report include:

  • Total annual transaction values from remote digital and physical goods purchases will hit $730 billion within five years.

  • eRetail is migrating to smartphones and tablets, with average tablet transaction sizes already exceeding those on desktops and laptops

  • Operator billing deployments are becoming more widespread, but are currently limited to digital purchases