Online and mobile purchases are set for continued growth and are expected to reach 125 billion transactions a year by 2018, an increase of more than 60 per cent when compared with this year’s total.
According to the latest study by Juniper Research, the increase will be driven by the continued transition from physical to digital formats and the rise of on-the-go purchases. Advancements in network technology, including developments in Wi-Fi and 4G connectivity, will accelerate this trend.
However, Juniper highlights that in order to meet the predicted growth levels, e-commerce will have to overcome some challenges. Researcher Dr Windsor Holden believes that high profile retail data breaches will undermine consumer confidence in online shopping.
"At worst, data breaches can lead to significant customer churn, together with possible remuneration requirements,” he said. “Consumers need to be reassured that their vital information is not being compromised or shared."
Delivering a consistent message, branding and shopping experience across all channels is also an important consideration for consumers and retailers must ensure that they are able to cope with peaks in demand, such as Black Friday promotions.
The Juniper report, titled “Mobile & Online Purchases: Cards, Carrier Billing & Third Party Payment Platforms 2015-2020,” also identified a significant increase in the Chinese e-retail market. China has now overtaken the US as the largest single market with almost $450 billion of sales during 2014, with Japan, France and the UK making up the rest of the top five.