Mobile Driving Next Big Wave in Growth of E-Commerce, Studies Show

A flurry of recent reports have supported what we’ve been predicting all along: Mobile commerce (or m-commerce) transactions will overtake ecommerce a lot sooner than many brands had expected.

According to the latest Global Unified Commerce Forecast from 451 Research, online channels will continue to outpace the growth of in-store retail sales for years to come, with digital commerce accounting for 10.2 percent of total sales by the close of 2018 before jumping to roughly 17.3 percent by 2022.

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All said, online commerce is on track to outpace the rate of in-store sales by as much as six-times, reaching an estimated $5.8 trillion in sales by 2022.

Taking a closer look at the data, it’s clear that mobile transactions will be at the root of this rapid change in buying habits, as consumers become increasingly accustomed to digital content they can access on their smartphones.

The number of m-commerce transactions will officially overtake e-commerce transactions globally by 2019, the report found. Just this year, in fact, China is on track to be the first country whose online spending exceeds $1 trillion, fueled primarily by mobile devices, which are considered the primary gateway to digital commerce in the country.

Similar buying habits are on track for consumers and brands stateside, where mobile continues to be a boon for retailers that are embracing the “omnichannel” playbook. Mobile contactless payments, for instance, are poised to surpass $1 trillion worldwide by the end of 2018, with these services set to enjoy a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 30.7 percent through 2022.

Some of the brands that are seeing the biggest payoff from mobile are the early adopters and risk takers that embraced app marketing when it was hardly a sure thing. Starbucks, for instance, has cultivated a large community of users -- an estimated 23.4 million as of this year -- that have enjoyed the convenience and sophistication of the company’s contactless mobile payment app. As a result, the Starbucks app is now the most popular payment app of its kind, helping to drive the total number of users regularly preferring contactless payments -- regardless of the app -- to 55 million this year.

How can your brand leverage digital and mobile to take advantage of the omnichannel future? Find out in our ebook, The Enterprise Guide to Omnichannel Marketing.

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