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Mobile Retail Market to Exceed $12 Billion by 2014

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A new report from Juniper Research has found that one to one marketing allied to the rapid proliferation of smartphones will be among the key drivers of a mobile retail market which is anticipated to exceed $12 billion by 2014.

The mobile marketing and retail strategies report found that the mobile retail sector - defined by Juniper as comprising mobile coupon redemption values, smart poster fees and advertising expenditure - would initially be dominated by coupons. However, it noted that mobile advertising expenditure would exceed coupon redemption values by 2013 as digital adspend is increasingly transferred into the mobile space.

Increasingly the retailing industry and brands are becoming aware of, and implementing the mobile device into, the retail cycle. According to report co-author Howard Wilcox, "Retailers have recognised that, even ahead of their wallets, people will usually make sure they do not leave home without their mobile device. The mobile channel offers merchants the opportunity to differentiate from their competition and acquire customers that become loyal."

Meanwhile, additional factors such as the growth of the mobile web, the availability of high speed mobile broadband networks, and the ever-growing usage of SMS were offering retailers, brands and merchants new opportunities to communicate with customers and potential customers and to offer the ability for them to shop by mobile.

Paul Berney, MMA Managing Director for EMEA says, "The results of this study are entirely in line with the MMA's expectations of the mobile retail market based on feedback from our members. There is no doubt that mobile will become a fundamental part of retailers' communication strategies; providing a key channel for not only the promotion of products and offers to consumers to drive footfall and sales but also to establish a relationship of engagement and interaction with customers both in store and beyond."

Other findings from the Juniper report include:

  • For brands and retailers, mobile offers the ability to change campaigns quickly (for example by time of day), and crucially the ability to track the success and customer acquisition rates.
  • Usage of the mobile in a live shopping situation can be particularly effective - for example for product price comparisons
  • While the mobile will be an effective channel for younger users who organise their lives around their mobile phones, older demographic groups are likely to be less receptive to using their mobiles in a retail situation

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