Mobile commerce sales are expected to quadruple by 2015, according to a new report.
"There's no question that mobile commerce is growing at a fast clip and mobile acts as an engine of overall e-commerce growth, by converting potential brick-and-mortar sales to digital sales as consumers use their smartphones while shopping in-store," said Jeffrey Grau, eMarketer principal analyst.
According to the report, in 2011 mobile commerce sales (also known as "m-commerce") are projected to reach $6.7 billion, as 26.8 million consumers made purchases from their smartphones. In 2012, the research projects 37.5 million consumers will make at least one purchase on their mobile phone and an estimated 72.8 million consumers will use smartphones to research a product prior to making a purchase. According to the research:
- In 2012, m-commerce sales are projected at $11.6 billion
- In 2013, m-commerce sales are projected at $17.2 billion
- In 2014, m-commerce sales are projected at $23.7 billion
- In 2015, m-commerce sales are projected at $31 billion
Mothers represent one of the most lucrative groups of shoppers, driving the popularity of m-commerce purchases as they are estimated to have a buying potential of $2.4 trillion, according to research by BSM Media, a firm specializing in marketing to moms. Additionally 62 percent of moms use their smartphones to access the mobile Web regularly, up from 22 percent in 2009, according to additional research by eMarketer.
Online retailers, however, are not the only businesses that have the opportunity to take advantage of growing m-commerce sales. According to Grau, brick-and-mortar retailers can also take advantage of m-commerce sales by creating a mix of products that are offered both in-store and online to capture the attention of consumers. Business owners can achieve this by enhancing the in-store buying experience with the promise of other products online.
"If a retailer has robust mobile offerings, it can steer in-store shoppers to look online for more information or find out-of-stock sizes and items on its own mobile site or app, (thus) retaining the sale via a different channel," said Grau.