Mobile Devices and Alternative Payments Bring Retail Online

by Michael Misasi 0

Mobile devices already have changed the what,when, where, and how of retail, yet only 12% of U.S. mobile phoneusers have used their handsets to make a purchase online. We’reonly beginning to see their impact unfold!

Online retail sales increased more than 16% in 2011, significantlyoutpacing the broader U.S. retail market. Moreover, 2011 was thesecond consecutive year of increasing online retail sales growth.This is a feat that was not achieved from 2001 through 2010 whenonline retail growth was more robust. But even though the segmentmight not be growing as quickly as it was at the turn of thecentury, several trends indicate that online retail’s resurgencecould be sustainable.

My latest research, featured in the Mercator Advisory Group report,U.S. E-commerce: Mobile Devices and Alternative Payments BringRetail Online, examines how smartphone adoption and paymentsinnovation is influencing online retail and online travelpurchases.

With respect to retail, some of the topics I discuss in the reportinclude the impact of mobile device adoption on Internet trafficand e-commerce sales, as well as recent trends in customersatisfaction for online and offline shopping. Some of the figuresyou will see in the report include Mercator estimates for onlineretail sales through 2015 and a breakdown of online and mobileretail by category of goods: electronics, apparel, home goods,etc.

Looking at the online travel market, one of the most prominenttrends I identified was a continuing shift from individual suppliersites to online travel agencies such as Orbitz, Priceline, Expedia,and Travelocity. These companies are all fighting over the samedollars as consumers change their spending habits. Some companiesare executing more effectively than others however, and there is adefined market share shift occurring among U.S. online travelagencies.

The distinction between online and offline retail is indeed quiteblurry as the Internet now seems to affect a majority of purchases,even if the payment is not made online. My research indicates thatthe three most important drivers of e-commerce are the increase inmobile connectivity, the innovation of alternative payment forms,and an improved online shopping experience.

Click here for more information about thereport.