Social to boost e-retail sales to US$1.7 trillion this year: Juniper Research

  • Facebook, Twitter retail activities to boost online purchases
  • Smartphones to account for more than 40% of e-retail transactions by 2020
Social to boost e-retail sales to US$1.7 trillion this year: Juniper Research

GLOBAL e-retail sales are expected to reach US$1.7 trillion this year, up by more than 17% on 2014’s total, according to new data from Juniper Research.
 
While recent growth had been buoyed by factors such as public WiFi deployments and 4G (Fourth Generation) rollout, in the medium term sales would receive a strong fillip from the trend of social media companies acting as direct sales platforms, Juniper Research said in a statement.

The new research, Mobile & Online Purchases: Cards, Carrier Billing & Third Party Payment Platforms 2015-2020 observed that players such as Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram had already launched ‘buy’ buttons from their mobile apps.
 
It claimed that such players are also likely to enhance their sales prospects through strategic retailer partnerships, with Twitter already enabling users to link their accounts to Amazon.
 
READ ALSO: New rules of engagement: Location tech and customer loyalty
 
In-store and online integration ‘critical’

The research also argued that online retailers were increasingly seeking to reduce time-to-consumer by launching same-day delivery, while ‘bricks and mortar’ stores now widely offered next-day in-store collection – often charging a premium for this option.

However, the research cautioned that retailers need to deliver a consistency of message, branding and shopping experience across all channels.
 
It argued that integration between in-store and online is also critical if the retailers want to maximise the extent to which that can identify a unique individual’s omnichannel shopping habits.

“The key is to ensure that consumers are allowed to choose their own path to purchase rather than have it effectively mandated by channel limitations,’ said research author Dr Windsor Holden.

Other findings from the research include:

  • Smartphones will account for more than 40% of e-retail transactions by 2020.
  • While carrier billing should provide content providers with a key mechanism for monetising digital content, its use for physical goods purchase is likely to be limited by comparatively higher share of revenues demanded by network operators and billing platforms.

The whitepaper, Buying Into Online Shopping, is available to download from the Juniper website together with further details of the full research and the attendant Interactive Forecast Excel (IFxl).

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