Mobile commerce is on the move

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Mobile commerce is beginning to gain traction among consumers and retailers, as the latest stats from Internet Retailer show (see story in this issue).

A full 79 percent of retailers surveyed said that mobile commerce has become very important to their sales, a big jump from 59 percent who said the same thing last year. One of the retailers who responded predicted that its m-commerce sales would double this year over last year.

These stats jive with other m-commerce studies conducted recently. For example, last month research firm eMarketer predicted that US m-commerce transactions would reach $41.7 billion this year, a healthy 68.2 percent year-over-year increase.  

This year, mobile transactions are predicted to drive 16 percent of e-commerce sales--which are forecast to reach $262.3 billion--and 19 percent of e-commerce sales next year. By 2017, mobile transactions are expected to reach $113.6 billion or 26 percent of total e-commerce sales.

Research firm comScore predicts that mobile commerce spending this year will reach a more modest $25 billion or 10 percent of e-commerce sales.

Commenting on the m-commerce stats, comScore Chairman Gian Fulgoni observed: "One out of every ten consumer e-commerce dollars is now spent using either a smartphone or a tablet, and growth in this segment of the market is outpacing that of traditional e-commerce by a factor of 2x, which itself is growing at rates in the mid-teens."

Online firms are scrambling to cash in on m-commerce growth. On Tuesday, PayPal announced that it would offer a QR-code based in-store payments platform to speed mobile device users through the checkout line (see story in this issue).

Last month, PayPal unveiled Beacon, which enables consumers to complete in-store mobile payments without taking their phones out of their pockets. The online payment firm boldly predicts that it will handle around $20 billion in mobile transactions this year, up from $14 billion a year ago.

PayPal's parent company eBay (NASDAQ: EBAY) agreed last month to acquire digital commerce startup Braintree Payments Solutions for $800 million in cash. Braintree provides a platform that enables developers, merchants and other clients to accept payments within their mobile apps and websites. The startup is expected to process more than $12 billion in net total payment volume this year, with mobile transactions making up one-third of that amount.

Not to be left out, Facebook (NASDAQ: FBrecently rolled out a new mobile payments tool that enables consumers to make purchases within mobile apps using their Facebook login information. Using the Autofill feature, Facebook users who have previously supplied credit card account information can complete purchases across partnering mobile apps without re-entering billing data.

This is only a brief sampling of what is happening in the dynamic m-commerce market. Now that FierceMobileContent has joined with FierceMobileIT, we will use our combined resources and daily coverage to provide you with the latest happenings in the m-commerce world. - Fred