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M-commerce to corner a quarter of the market

02 August 2012 - 09:39 by Graham Miller

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In five years' time, consumers could be using smartphones to make almost 25 per cent of their purchases via safe shopping online, according to a new report published by ABI Research.

Last year, around £41.8 billion was spent through mobile devices and analysts expect that this will continue to grow exponentially, between now and 2017.

While the growth of smartphone ownership is one of the main causes of the rise, part of the expansion is being put down to the increasing need for retailers to perform well across multiple platforms.

While in the past the high street was dominant, retailers that previously championed this market are having to adapt, in order to compete with a new raft of e-commerce firms that offer affordable, safe shopping online.

This means more and more firms are turning to m-commerce in order to encourage customers to use their smartphones, while they shop in bricks and mortar outlets, which gives everyone the best of both worlds.

ABI Research spokesperson, John Devlin, said that m-commerce was still not quite a mainstream tool for retail, but would eventually hit this level of usage, thanks to its continued growth at a time when other areas of the market are struggling to break even.

Mr Devlin pointed out that consumer awareness of m-commerce is being spread, thanks to the knowledge that deals and offers can be attained through smartphone platforms and then used in the real world.

He describes this as the 'Groupon Effect,' referencing the popular voucher site of the same name and indicating that this is catalysing the uptake of multichannel m-commerce services.

The rise of m-commerce as one of the most important facets of the retail market is good news for consumers, because it means that portable shopping is going to become more flexible and affordable.