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Posted by Sucharita Mulpuru on June 17, 2011
After social commerce, mobile commerce is the most heavily debated topic-du-jour among retailers these days. One thing that both social and mobile commerce have in common is that they are both small. Teeny in fact. Forrester’s Mobile Commerce Forecast, 2011 To 2016, which launched today, shows that retailers can expect 2% of their online web sales (yes, I said web sales which means a minuscule percent of overall retail) to be transacted through mobile devices in 2011. While we also expect mobile commerce sales to grow 40% each year for the next five years, we’re still talking small numbers overall (7% of web sales penetration by 2016). Why so small you may ask. After all, aren’t smartphones changing the way we consume web content? Some things to consider:
So, does this mean that we’re making much ado about nothing with all the focus on mobile commerce? Not a chance. Mobile commerce will transform retail, both because the transparency of pricing will force big box stores to be much better merchants or die and because store associates armed with mobile devices can now do everything from save lost sales to carry a POS device in their hand. And the most efficient retailers won’t even have their store associates doing those things — they’ll have their customers doing them themselves.