Retailers to spend USD55bn on mobile marketing by 2015

Global spend from retailers on mobile marketing is set to hit USD55bn by 2015, according to a new report from Juniper Research, as smartphones and tablets’ role in commerce continues to increase. The forecasted figure is almost double the USD28bn expected spend for this year, with retailers upping their focus on mobile devices throughout all stages of the commerce chain. One particular area is coupons and discounts, according to Juniper, with mobile devices increasingly used to store coupons that are ultimately redeemed in-store. The research firm says that this trend creates opportunities for new technologies such as augmented reality and NFC to play a role in marrying mobile and physical commerce.

While retailers appear to be keen to integrate mobile, Juniper claims that many are yet to optimise their websites or payment systems for the format, which the research firm believes is critical.

“If retailers truly want to maximise the mobile monetisation opportunity, then optimisation is critical,” says Juniper analyst, Dr Windsor Holden. “If you are using mobile advertising for consumer acquisition, you need to push users to a site with which they can comfortably interact; retailers that fail to respond to consumer demand will fall behind.”

Juniper’s warnings are in line with comments made by Niklas Adalberth, CEO of online payment firm Klarna, to StrategyEye earlier this month. Adalberth believes that traffic from the mobile web, rather than dedicated shopping apps, will drive mobile commerce growth over the next few years as consumers don’t want to download an app for various shopping sites.

Consumer attitudes toward mobile commerce are shifting, with the proliferation of smartphones and tablets helping drive sales particularly over the recent holiday period. Previous Juniper estimates place global mobile shoppers at 580m by the end of 2014, up from 393m in 2012, while studies earlier this month from IMRG and Capgemini and Branding Brand assert that mobile commerce experienced triple-digit growth in both the US and the UK during 2012.