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M-Commerce Looks Set To Double

09 June 2010 - 15:50 by Paul Tissington

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Considering the ongoing developments in smartphone technology, it is to be expected that there will be a growing number of people shopping online using their mobiles. However, historical figures show that online retail sales from mobile phones were only worth a paltry 0.6% of £21.2 billion total of online retail sales in 2009.

All that is now set to change. According to researchers from Ovum and Verdict Research, online shopping sales from mobile phones are set to more than double by 2013 as consumers become used to safe online shopping via their mobile phones. The research from Verdict and Ovum suggests that only 2.1 per cent of the adult population in the UK shopped online in 2009, despite the fact that 28 per cent of us have internet access via our mobile phones.

At present, rather than using their mobile phones for online shopping, Ovum and Verdict found that consumers are using them primarily to research products and compare prices before buying. Malcolm Pinkerton a Senior analyst at Verdict Research, said: "Consumers are not spending significant amounts via mobiles and, for now, we believe the true potential for m-commerce is to provide consumers with a valuable tool for research, comparison shopping and retailer interaction."

But with recent moves by many household names including Marks and Spencer, Ocado and Argos improving their mobile shop fronts and services to provide ever easier and safe shopping online, it looks as though mobile internet shopping sales are set to soar.

Predictions of a twofold increase may be a serious underestimation with smart phones making it easier to access the mobile web. As Apple CEO Steve Jobs has noted, mobile devices could replace traditional PCs as it becomes easier to use them, not just for safe shopping online, but as a more convenient 'desk-free' way in which to access the internet.