Mobile transactions to hit $730bn as couch commerce takes hold

Mobile payments are expected to reach $730bn in 2017, with the purchase of high street goods driving growth

Mobile payments are expected to be worth $730bn by 2017 with high street purchases driving growth, according to a study from Juniper Research.

The report: Mobile Payments for Digital & Physical Goods: Opportunity Analysis 2012-2017 predicted the take-up of tablet devices will see mobile transactions migrate away from laptops and desktops. 

The Juniper report said consumers are shopping online while watching TV, in an emerging trend it termed "couch commerce". It expects mobile and nomadic devices to account for 30% of e-retail in five years.

Businesses are harnessing the sales opportunities with companies such as Domino’s in the US and Argos in the UK making about 7% of all sales via mobiles devices, according to Juniper.

Windsor Holden, research director at Juniper, said mobile services are being used widely by retailers. These include product discovery, product purchase and customer retention initiatives.

The mobile device is becoming a hub to link mobile and traditional in-store sales. The Juniper report gave the example of an eBay app where consumers take or upload a photograph of an item to search for a product online. 

“EBay is planning to enhance this application by enabling users to compare prices and item availability both online and via partner bricks-and-mortar stores: the end user can then pay for the item via PayPal before picking up the product from the local store,” said Juniper.

Gartner recently said the value of mobile payments in 2016 is predicted to reach $617bn as the number of mobile users worldwide reaches 448 million.

According to Gartner, mobile payments are set to increase 62% in value through 2012 to reach $171.5bn, compared with $106bn last year. Gartner expects an average 42% annual growth in transaction values between 2011 and 2016, taking it to $617bn.

Read more on Mobile apps and software