Mobile Shopping Boom Predicted by 2016

Despite the high percentage of consumers using smartphones and mobile devices, only 2 percent of all online shopping is done using those devices.That number should start to change soon, according to a new report from Massachusetts based market research company, Forrester Research.

In the report, Forrester forecasts that mobile shopping, which was at $3 billion in 2010, will explode to $31 billion by 2016. Despite the staggering growth, mobile commerce is only expected to make up roughly 7 percent of all web purchases in 2016.

So why are consumer so hesitant to shop on their mobile devices?

According to Forrester Research, security is the number one concern that consumers have with mobile shopping. This doesn’t come as a surprise however, and as we have seen with online shopping, time and adaptation to the technology will cause this issue to fade.

In addition to security, there is still a concern about the apparent lack of speed that goes hand in hand with mobile sites as well as the obvious immaturity of most retailers when it comes to mobile commerce strategies.

For now, the majority of retailers are primarily using mobile technology to provide basic information about their stores and the products within. Only a handful- one being Amazon- have taken the next step and allowed consumers to shop and make purchases quickly via their smartphones and mobile devices. But there are more ambitious plans in the works.

Putting the focus on consumers may be misguided, said Sucharita Mulpuru, the author of the Forrester report. Rather than hope that shoppers will use their phones to buy things, retailers should focus on training store employees to use mobile devices in ways that would make them more helpful.

Several retailers, like Home Depot and Urban Outfitters, have already indicated that they will follow Mulpuru’s advice, sadly though, they are in the minority.

via NYTimes