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Mobile commerce expected to soar this year

Nearly half of US consumers will make mobile purchases this holiday season

  • Key4Communications

At least 46% of US consumers plan to make mobile purchases this holiday season, according to a survey of tablet and smartphone owners from PayPal conducted with marketing research firm Ipsos.

According to this Pay Pal study, 35% of these purchases are spontaneous, and 24% spent $100 or more on their last mobile purchase. Pay Pal has named this trend “couch commerce”, as 60% of buys are done from home. In fact, the company expects that after dinner on Thanksgiving Day will be the first mobile shopping spike this holiday season.

In fact, this Christmas could also be the first season showing a significant growth in buys done through tablets and mobile phones. According to a research done by the consultant company Euromonitor, mobile commerce has a huge growth potential, as every year mobile phone subscriptions increase (they should reach 7.6 billion in 2020, with strongest growths in Middle East and Africa).

As examples of mobile commerce possibilities, Euromonitor explains that in 2010, Ebay consumers bought and sold more than US$2 billion of merchandise via wireless handsets, according to the company, while Apple generated US$1.8 billion in sales from its mobile-device apps in the same year.

Mobiles are also used to redeem discount coupons (as McDonald’s Japan did). Finance services are another market showing momentum and growth possibilities.

More mobile phones than PCs
Penetration rates of mobile phones are over 90% in developed countries, with developing countries catching up rapidly, also according to Euromonitor. In fact, more people have access to mobile phones than PCs globally: for example, the USA’s mobile telecommunication revenues made up only 47.9% of total telecom revenues in 2010, while in Nigeria this figure was 93.8%.

World internet retail sales should also show an important expansion: 62.6% over 2011-2015, with mobile buys also constantly reaching higher market shares.

Sales through tablets will also grow, although at the moment these devices are relatively new to the market. Moreover, according to Forrester, many buyers prefer to browse stores using these devices, and not phones or computers. Forrester also considers tablets as an opportunity for small businesses.

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