A recent Javelin Strategy & Research report revealed mobile ecommerce via apps and browsers surged to over $120 billion in 2015, and smartphones generated 70 cents of every $1 spent in mobile ecommerce. Increasing smartphone saturation and growing comfort with using them to make payments are contributing factors, researchers found.
Despite solid gains in mobile online purchases, merchants have struggled to create native app experiences that attract and retain shoppers. Demand for speedy checkout, multiple payment options and immersive shopping experiences is expected to further drive mobile online retail payments to a projected $320 billion by 2020, Javelin noted.
According to Javelin, mobile browsers have outpaced merchants' native apps when consumers make purchases, generating $75.3 billion compared with $46.9 billion in total 2015 revenues, respectively.
Analysts and online merchants are optimistic about mobile online commerce this holiday season and beyond. "With the holiday shopping season upon us, retailers must stay off of consumers' naughty list by meeting consumers' mobile shopping expectations for a streamlined experience and fast and secure checkout options," said Emmett Higdon, Director of Mobile at Javelin.
Some merchants already have a competitive advantage. "Cutting edge retailers like Adidas, Nordstrom, and Sephora are also using augmented and virtual reality to provide shoppers with mobile-exclusive experiences, enabling them to preview purchases in their own homes and virtually 'try' products before making a decision," Higdon said.
Looking ahead to 2017, researchers at Zenith forecast an estimated 75 percent of global Internet use will be conducted on mobile devices. "Mobile devices are already the primary means of accessing the Internet across the world," said Jonathan Barnard, Head of Forecasting at Zenith. "Countries in Western Europe, Asia and North America are leading the transition, but mobile technology is spreading rapidly everywhere."
Zenith noted that in 2012, just 23 percent of the population in the 60 markets it studies owned smartphones. "Smartphone penetration has now reached 56 percent, an increase of 2.4 times over four years, and we forecast it to rise to 63 percent by 2018," stated Zenith in its mobile forecast.
Globally, Spain (85 percent), Hong Kong (79 percent), China (76 percent), the United States (74 percent), Italy and India (73 percent each) now lead mobile Internet consumption, according to Zenith. By 2018, China is expected to top the list at 89 percent mobile Internet use, followed by China (87 percent), Spain (86 percent), the United States and Italy (83 percent each) and India (82 percent).
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