M-commerce: A Forecast Review

M-commerce already accounts for almost 30% of all US e-commerce, shows the 2016 Internet Retailer Mobile 500 ranking. Mobile sales have been estimated at $104.05 billion this year, up 38.7% since 2014. M-commerce profit is even higher in other regions: by 249.3% in Asia, 70.7% in Europe and 59.6% in Latin America. One is clear: m-commerce already has a strong position in the global market. There is a lot of research going on trying to measure its further growth.  

According to the US Mobile Phone And Tablet Commerce Forecast, 2015 to 2020, m-commerce transactions will reach $115 billion this year and increase to $142 billion in 2016. By 2020, 15% of e-commerce sales will be made with mobile phones, and 33% will be made with tablets. Report author Sucharita Mulpuru, Vice President and Principal Analyst at Forrester Research, explains that mobile conversion rates could be much higher if download speed was faster. She also sees another problem: m-commerce transactions mainly take place in 3 categories: clothing, consumer electronics and media. In her opinion, there is still a lot of business potential left in other product categories. Despite these challenges, Forrester Research predicts that m-commerce will grow at a rate of 17% a year in the next 5 years. From the current 35%, it will generate 49% of e-commerce income, i.e. $252 billion, by 2020.

A joint study by PayPal and Ipsos, a market research firm, reveals that m-commerce is growing almost 3 times faster than e-commerce at the global level. More specifically: the multi-country average compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for m-commerce is estimated at 42% versus 13% for overall e-commerce between 2013 and 2016. M-commerce should grow “from roughly $102 billion in 2013 to roughly $291 billion in 2016”. The situation in the US is quite similar: E-commerce is expected to increase by 9–11% a year by 2016. The annual growth rate of m-commerce should be 26–32%, i.e. almost 3 times higher than the rate of e-commerce. It has been calculated that US m-commerce will grow “from $54.6 million in 2014 to $96.3 million in 2016”.

IDC, a market research firm, foresees a sharp increase of m-commerce transactions in the world in the next 2 years: from $500 billion in 2015 to $1 trillion in 2017. In its opinion, Asia-Pacific (APAC) markets will take a leading position. IDC warns that in the developed markets like Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore proximity tech will be competing with debit and credit cards. On the other hand, strengthening its market position will be easier because of the well-developed local infrastructure. In the developing Asian markets like China, India and Indonesia, m-commerce will be driven by semi-closed wallets.

Goldman Sachs, an investment banking firm, forecasts that global m-commerce sales will increase from $204 billion in 2014 to $626 billion in 2018, almost reaching total e-commerce sales in 2013: $638 billion. M-commerce will account for 33.9% of total e-commerce sales in 2015, and its share will continue to grow: it will reach 40.5% in 2016, and will rise to 43.8% in 2017 and to 46.6% in 2018. In addition, the number of consumers making mobile purchases will increase significantly over the next 3 years: from 686 million in 2015 to 830 million in 2016, followed by 961 million in 2017 and 1.09 billion in 2018. Goldman Sachs also predicts that more than $2 billion will be spent online using mobile digital assistant technologies by the end of 2016.

References:  [1] Mark Brohan, Internet Retailer / [2] Chantal Tode, Mobile Commerce Daily / [3] Payments Cards & Mobile / [4] Ben Frederick, Mobile Marketing Daily / [5] Bill Siwicki, Internet Retailer  / [6] Orchestrate