125bn Digital Purchases a Year by 2018

Tim Maytom

mCommerceThe number of purchases made via mobiles, tablets, desktops and other connected devices is likely to reach 125bn annually by 2018, up over 60 per cent on this year's total as digital commerce becomes more and more central to everyday life.

According to Juniper Research, the growth will be driven by a rise in 'commuter commerce' as people are able to make purchases on-the-go with greater ease, as well as rises in streamed subscription services and the transition from physical formats like DVDs and CD-ROMs to digital content.

Greater reliability thanks to the rollout of 4G in larger areas and public wi-fi, especially on transport, will push the convenience factor of mCommerce, as will increasing public comfort with mobile and digital wallets.

China will also be a major factor in the growth, having surpassed the US to become the largest single market for digital commerce, with sales of nearly $450bn (£286bn) in 2014 and strong growth predicted to continue.

However, the increasing number of high profile data breaches at retailers and online services may damage consumer confidence in digital commerce, slowing growth as audiences fear fraud and loss of privacy.

"At worst, data breaches can lead to significant customer churn, together with possible remuneration requirements," said Dr Windsor Holden, author of the research. "Consumers need to be reassured that their vital information is not being compromised or shared."