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Mobile Commerce Vies for a Place in Online Markets

Mobile Commerce Insider Featured Article

January 21, 2013

Mobile Commerce Vies for a Place in Online Markets

By Jody Ray Bennett
TMCnet Contributing Writer

According to data from Forrester, mobile commerce sales, which are purported to have had an immense impact on many online businesses such as Amazon, have had only a minor effect on the majority of businesses involved in the market. Such a revelation runs contrary to the popular hype surrounding the market, but the current figures don’t lie and it’s likely to stay that way for at least the next five years.

In the U.S. last year, the value of physical retail goods purchased through mobile devices, such as smartphones, totalled $8 billion. This figure accounts for a modest three percent of online sales and less than one percent of total retail sales in the country and Forrester (News - Alert) estimates that even these figures have been pumped up by exceptional cases, such as eBay or Amazon, whose businesses are booming on and off mobile sales. Forrester also expects total mobile sales to grow by a third every year over the next five years to $31 billion or nine percent of current online sales, however.

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Another revelation from Forrester’s data is that only a quarter of 132 million Americans with an Internet-connection on their mobile devices made a purchase on their device in the last year. Low transaction rates are being blamed by the researchers for this low turnout, as they believe retailers are making it too difficult for customers to carry out transactions, browse new products or inspect known ones.

Given the mobile market’s modest sales figures, Forrester still believes it is worth investing in. Checkout solutions such as PayPal (News - Alert) Express or Amazon’s Checkout are indicators of potentially successful mobile retailers, as are reactive screen layouts and resolutions. Tablet experiences, not just smartphone ones, are also worth taking into consideration when making a decision, Forrester says.

Forrester Research (News - Alert) is a global technology and market research and advisory firm, founded in Cambridge, Massachusetts by George Forrester Colony. The firm provides advice on current and future technologies and their expected impacts on both clients and markets. Although Forrester is originally a U.S. company, it has research centers in four European countries and sales locations worldwide.

Edited by Brooke Neuman

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