Online shopping via mobile has been driven by the rapid adoption of mobile devices especially smartphones and now the tablets. The use of mobile when shopping either in-store or on the go has become popular among consumers most of who prefer more mobile-optimized information of products while they are shopping.
Mobile commerce has gained so much popularity that it is predicted that people in western Europe will increase their mobile spending by 11 fold within the next 5 years to reach 19.2 billion pounds, according to a study conducted by Forrester. The total number of mobile shoppers in Europe will increase dramatically to over 79 million in 2017 as compared to 7.6 million in 2011. This is forecasted as a 45% leap of mobile phone owners mainly from UK and these are the consumers who will drive mobile spending in the next 5 years and beyond.
Europeans spent 1.7 billion pounds last year on mobile purchases which is 1% of total online sales and this is expected to rise in the coming years. By 2017, mobile purchases are predicted to reach 6.8% of all online sales and this will closely follow U.S. mobile purchases which are expected to hit the 8% mark.
This figure is based on mobile purchases of retail products and services, magazine subscriptions, gift cards, in-store purchases but it does not include any readily consumable digital content such as applications and ringtones, stock trades and mobile payments made physically at check outs using phones and other mobile devices.
In UK, online shopping and multi-channel purchasing has penetrated the market already and that is why this country will lead in mobile commerce spending in this region. It is expected that, by 2017, UK mobile revenues will exceed 6.1 billion pounds. Germany will lag behind since users in this country have been slow in adopting the smartphones and only 5.7% of total online sales will be realized here, from mobile purchases, in 5 years time. Italy and Spain will leap forward within the next 5 years to achieve an above-average level of online purchases made by mobile. Currently, online shopping is still at a low level in southern Europe but this will change in the coming years.
Media products, advertising and travel have dominated the mobile commerce spending for now and this is expected to rise as more people buy mobile devices.
Currently, the main mobile purchases are low-cost items such as books, games, music, apps, videos and popular event tickets. Fashion, beauty and accessories are expected to rise in demand in the mobile market and retailers should position themselves for this growth.
The mobile activity involves browsing the items, checking and comparing prices and purchasing the items from mobile phones, tablet computers and other mobile channels. Generating more sales of goods and services and attracting more traffic is one of the major goals of mcommerce retailers. Yet, mobile will continue to play a major role in locating physical stores, price comparison and redemption of coupons as people shop in-store or on the go.
Mobile ads affect consumer purchasing positively especially if they are from their favorite brands. The effect smatphones have on shoppers is bound to increase their retail purchases. Some shoppers prefer to refer to their mobile device when in-store rather than talk to a sales rep, purchase items from a mobile device and repeat business when they enjoy the shopping experience.
Developing and implementing a mobile strategy cannot be over-emphasized. You need a mobile commerce strategy if you do not want to be left behind in this playing ground. Mobile commerce includes media products, travel, app downloads and advertising among other types of retail. By studying consumer buying behaviors and patterns, you can develop a mobile strategy that is suitable for your type of business.