Forrester's first European Mobile Commerce Forecast


Mobile commerce is a HOT topic!

Over the last three months I’ve presented at 4 different European events on the subject of Mobile Commerce in retail, and in every other speech I’m called on to do, mobile is increasingly at the heart of what I talk about when I discuss the key trends impacting European eCommerce. Its unavoidable.

So I’m delighted to say that Forrester has launched its first European Mobile Commerce forecast.

The growth assumptions are based on the existing Forrester Research Online Retail Forecast, 2011 To 2016 (Western Europe), with simplified category groupings to reflect mobile characteristics. Mobile purchasing behavior and mobile Technographics sophistication are overlaid onto the country-by-country eCommerce growth forecasts to reflect the way in which mobile commerce will grow differently from online commerce across Europe. What this gives us is a picture of how we believe that mobile commerce will evolve for some of the key European markets.

So what are we forecasting?

·         Mobile Growth Will Be Rapid, But Adoption Will Be Niche For Some Time Yet. Mobile commerce will represent 6.8% of all online eCommerce sales across Europe by 2017 (mobile only – we exclude Tablets from this figure). This is a significant portion of online sales, with the most rapid growth in the south of Europe.

·         The Influence Smartphones Have On Shopping Will Go Beyond Mobile Buying. Smartphone users are far more likely than other mobile device users to engage via their mobiles - whether that is buying a product, locating a store, or looking up a price while on the move. Understanding the growth and behavior of this key shopping group as it varies by country is the key to a successful mCommerce strategy.

·         Simple, Impulse Purchase Categories Are The Mobile Sweet Spot. Simple to merchandise, impulse categories like books, music, and DVDs and categories such as ticketing and auctions where mobile-specific features such as immediacy and location can be leveraged will be the core mobile commerce growth categories. These categories will see faster growth than other, more complex product categories such as clothing.

So while mobile commerce may only represent one or two percent of most retailers’ online revenues today, it will grow to be a notable revenue driver over the next five years. Retailer enablement of mobile experiences lags a little in many European countries right now, particularly in southern Europe. It’s time that eBusiness executives stopped talking about mobile as something to do in the future and started enabling great, multi-touchpoint shopping experiences with mobile at the heart. Be under no illusions – mobile is here in Europe, and while shoppers aren’t going to ditch their laptops overnight, mobile, and in particular the smartphone is an increasingly influential touchpoint in both on- and offline commerce.


m-commerce in retail - hot in Europe and US

These spot on forecasts apply not only to Europe, but the US as
well. In fact, a recent study found that 37% of active Internet users plan to use smartphones for their cyber Monday and holiday shopping. The question now remains, as you have rightly pointed out "Why aren't retailers doing anything about enabling the mobile shopping experience?" We think that three major obstacles are a) Retailers have heavy investment going in their existing legacy IT and find it hard to move off b) Security is always a concern c)A comprehensive wireless strategy takes a lot of up-front investment. It is high time the retail industry woke up to m-commerce as an "opportunity" and not as an "IT spend". This article at talks about just that.

Twitter @WiproInsights

Couldn't agree more. We do

Couldn't agree more. We do have a US forecast as well...

mobile usability

Our mobile testing business is exploding.
Everyone wants to either make their existing webapp, mobile and thumb friendly, or they want to start up a new business, and usually new model, to capture mobile users. The problem with this is that transforming a webapp to mobile, especially for commerce as we are discussing above, is that the screen real estate is so small. So, usability and UX design really has to be done right. What do you really want your users to be able to do with the mobile app? Are they really going to place an order? Is that the goal? Or just to provide information, so they can save it, and possibly buy online later? Integrating the web and mobile experience require some careful thought. I would doubt that the actual buying that happens on mobile will be a large percentage, but maybe I'm wrong.

I completely agree here. We

I completely agree here. We see far more consumers using their phones as "offline shopping enablers" than as actual purchase devices. Looking up stock, prices, store locations and opening hours are much more common activities than using the phone to buy. But the clever examples are ones where the phone bridges the digital to physical worlds and back again. So its not just about using the mobile to bring digital into the store or branch environment, but also capturing what happens in the physical world and then influencing the digital experience the consumer has next time they log on with their laptop or iPad. That's trickier.