Mobile commerce is a HOT topic!

Over the last three months I’ve presented at 4 different European events on the subject of Mobile Commerce in retail, and in every other speech I’m called on to do, mobile is increasingly at the heart of what I talk about when I discuss the key trends impacting European eCommerce. Its unavoidable.

So I’m delighted to say that Forrester has launched its first European Mobile Commerce forecast.

The growth assumptions are based on the existing Forrester Research Online Retail Forecast, 2011 To 2016 (Western Europe), with simplified category groupings to reflect mobile characteristics. Mobile purchasing behavior and mobile Technographics sophistication are overlaid onto the country-by-country eCommerce growth forecasts to reflect the way in which mobile commerce will grow differently from online commerce across Europe. What this gives us is a picture of how we believe that mobile commerce will evolve for some of the key European markets.

So what are we forecasting?

·         Mobile Growth Will Be Rapid, But Adoption Will Be Niche For Some Time Yet. Mobile commerce will represent 6.8% of all online eCommerce sales across Europe by 2017 (mobile only – we exclude Tablets from this figure). This is a significant portion of online sales, with the most rapid growth in the south of Europe.

·         The Influence Smartphones Have On Shopping Will Go Beyond Mobile Buying. Smartphone users are far more likely than other mobile device users to engage via their mobiles – whether that is buying a product, locating a store, or looking up a price while on the move. Understanding the growth and behavior of this key shopping group as it varies by country is the key to a successful mCommerce strategy.

·         Simple, Impulse Purchase Categories Are The Mobile Sweet Spot. Simple to merchandise, impulse categories like books, music, and DVDs and categories such as ticketing and auctions where mobile-specific features such as immediacy and location can be leveraged will be the core mobile commerce growth categories. These categories will see faster growth than other, more complex product categories such as clothing.

So while mobile commerce may only represent one or two percent of most retailers’ online revenues today, it will grow to be a notable revenue driver over the next five years. Retailer enablement of mobile experiences lags a little in many European countries right now, particularly in southern Europe. It’s time that eBusiness executives stopped talking about mobile as something to do in the future and started enabling great, multi-touchpoint shopping experiences with mobile at the heart. Be under no illusions – mobile is here in Europe, and while shoppers aren’t going to ditch their laptops overnight, mobile, and in particular the smartphone is an increasingly influential touchpoint in both on- and offline commerce.