Making purchases by mobile device will become much more common over the next four years, with Juniper Research forecasting that the practice will comprise a third of all online sales – or $707bn (£431bn) – by 2018.
According to the research firm's latest report on mobile payments for digital and physical goods, top retailers are increasingly developing strategies for m-payments and rolling them out.
Already mobile retail spend accounts for 15 per cent of all e-retail purchases, or $182bn, according to Juniper Research's 2013 figures.
Windsor Holden, the Juniper report author, said: "Not only is the retailer proactively offering the consumer the opportunity to price check in-store, but the purchase can be made immediately, without having to queue elsewhere in the store."
Holden said that physical stores would increasingly be used as showrooms, with consumers more likely to buy online after viewing or trying a product in the store.
Mobile hubs would be the primary route to payment, product discovery and customer retention. The size and scale of online purchases made on phones and tablets is expanding.
Interestingly, purchases were more likely to be completed via tablet – although retailers appear to be focusing mainly on optimising their websites for mobile devices, with only a "small minority" focusing on the tablet opportunity.
Mobile phones are used primarily for browsing products, not for completing purchases, Holden's research confirmed.
Meanwhile, online stores offering direct carrier billing can attract younger demographics and users who do not yet have a specific banking service provider for m-payments, the report suggested.
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