The rise and rise of the mobile shopper

9 Oct 2012

For many people their mobile device is increasingly becoming an invaluable aid while shopping on the high street, such as for comparing prices. But it seems growing consumer confidence in the mobile device as a shopping tool for content browsing and as a payment mechanism is set to grow 50pc in two years.

According to a report by Juniper Research 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.

It 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.

E-commerce giant eBay recently predicted mobile payment volumes across eBay and PayPal to more than double in 2012 to hit US$10bn.

Security concerns still paramount

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. “Consumers increasingly expect to be able to buy their products and services via their smartphones and tablets,” Dr Windsor Holden, the report’s author said.

“Companies which do not offer this option face falling behind their competitors,” Dr Holden said.

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.
Total annual transaction values from remote digital and physical goods purchases will hit US$730bn 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

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years