Brace yourselves, m-commerce is coming

If you were thinking mobile payments were popular today, wait to see what will happen in 2019. According to global analyst firm Ovum, the number of users will jump to 4.77 billion by that time.

Today, that number stands at approximately 689.99 million.

There are three segments emphasised in the new forecast – m-commerce, person-to-person mobile money transfers, and mobile proximity payments.

Ovum says m-commerce is the biggest in both the number of users and transaction value.

There will be 2.07 billion m-commerce users in 2019, up from 452.78 million we had two years ago. Transaction value, worldwide, will also grow, from $50.92bn in 2014 to $693.36bn by 2019.

Smartphones are to blame for this upcoming ‘explosion’ of m-commerce, Ovum says, adding that retailers are rushing to optimise their sites for mobile shopping.

Looking at individual states, China will be the biggest m-commerce player, with an estimated 370.29 million m-commerce users. In terms of transaction value, it will still lag behind the US, although the estimated $79.36bn are still quite impressive.

The rise of m-commerce is being driven by the widespread adoption of increasingly powerful smartphones with larger screens. Meanwhile, more and more retailers are optimizing their sites for mobile shopping. “Smartphones have become a platform that can support the whole shopping journey, from product search and discovery, through comparisons and recommendations, to payments,” notes Eden Zoller, Principal Analyst, Consumer Services and Payments, at Ovum.

“Players such as Alibaba and Tencent are galvanizing the Chinese market, along with a fast-growing, more affluent, middle-class customer base and young people that are mobile-first and view smartphones as the center of their digital lives,” concludes Zoller.