Juniper Research predicted that the number of online purchases and payments made on mobile devices will soar in the next five years, as retailers prepare to offer e-commerce bargains as part of what has become known as Cyber Monday.
Analysts with the research company forecast the number of mobile commerce (m-commerce) transactions will grow from 72 billion in 2014 to 195 billion in 2019, as consumers increasingly make purchases on their smartphone or tablet PC instead of traditional desktop PCs. The company expects to see more purchases by commuters, and those browsing the web while watching TV--an activity it calls 'media stacking'.
Juniper Research predicts the greatest growth in m-commerce will come from Near Field Communications (NFC)-based mobile payments, which are gaining traction in part due to Apple's decision to use the technology in its Apple Pay service. However, the research company also noted that a "host of anticipated deployments by banks" based on Host Card Emulation (HCE) will also drive the broader m-commerce market during the forecast period.
The research company added that the digital goods sector is ripe for the highest increase in net transaction volumes over the next five years, with micropayments for in-app purchases fuelling the growth. Direct carrier billing is indentified as a key opportunity to monetise digital content, particularly in regions where few consumers have bank accounts.
"Storefronts that have deployed carrier billing solutions have already seen positive results across a range of indicators--higher conversion rates, higher average transaction values, higher transaction volumes," said Windsor Holden, head of consultancy and forecasting, adding: "For the first time, they can monetise consumers who would otherwise have been excluded either because they lacked a credit card or because they were unwilling to enter card details online."
To fully cash in on the potential for mobile commerce, companies with a stake in the business must convince retailers that enabling mobile payments is a key method of building customer loyalty, the research company noted.
Juniper Research's view that mobile devices are becoming the method of choice for online shopping tallies with that of Visa Europe, which predicted mobile devices would play a greater role on Cyber or Mega Monday--a day when online retailers offer heavy discounts.
Kevin Jenkins, MD for the UK and Ireland at Visa Europe, said 2014 will likely see "continued growth in shopping via tablets and smartphones, with commuters using the journey home to shop" rather than their workplace PC.
The company predicted that total online transactions in the UK over the weekend after the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday (Friday, Nov. 28 through Monday, Dec. 1) will hit 31 million, generating £1.7 billion (€2.1 billion/$2.6 billion) in the process.
However, Visa Europe hinted that Cyber Monday is becoming less of a phenomenon than 'Black Friday', originally a U.S. retail concept to encourage sales after Thanksgiving that has migrated to the UK and Europe in recent years.
Although the credit card company predicted 2014 Cyber Monday sales will hit a record £500 million this year, the figure falls short of an anticipated £518 million in online sales on Black Friday.
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