Report: Smartphone, Tablet Sales to Top $700 Billion in 2018 (Jan. 7, 2014)
Mobile payments via smartphones and tablets are set to surge over the next few years, reaching $707 billion worldwide in 2018, according to a new report by Juniper Research. That’s compared to $182 billion in 2013—and mobile-based sales are expected to comprise a growing portion of overall e-retail. Last year, smartphone and tablet sales made up 15 percent of all e-retail volume, but that percentage is projected to double by 2018.
The latest edition of Juniper’s annual mobile payments forecast found that retailers are increasingly developing strategies built around mobile devices. And many of those merchants were viewing mobile as more than just a channel for payments, but also as a “hub” to facilitate new product discovery and customer retention. Notably, the report found that consumers who own a smartphone and a tablet showed a “strong trend” toward browsing for items on the mobile phone and subsequently completing the purchase on the tablet. And by the end of 2013, monthly spending on tablets had overtaken handset spending.
Another trend highlighted in the report was the continuing rise of “showrooming,” in which customers browse products in stores and—sometimes simultaneously—compare prices on mobile devices. Especially popular with millennials, showrooming presents a challenge for retailers, that need to adapt their strategies by deploying tablets equipped with m-POS capabilities while also introducing a price-match option, the report advises. “This means that not only is the retailer proactively offering the consumer the opportunity to price check in-store, but that the purchase can be made immediately, without having to queue elsewhere in the store,” noted Dr. Windsor Holden, research director for Juniper and the report’s author.