Dec 8, 2009

eMarketer Weighs In on 2010 Trends: E-Commerce & Mobile

DECEMBER 8, 2009

eMarketer analysts give you their perspective


   Jeffrey Grau, Senior Analyst
Mobile Commerce’s Time Has Arrived
It is eye-catching when a consultancy revises a market forecast upward in the midst of an economic downturn. That is exactly whatABI Research did with its forecast of mobile sales of physical goods in North America. In January 2009 it projected m-commerce sales would reach $544 million this year, up 57% over 2008—impressive in its own right. But in late October, ABI upped its forecast, saying sales would top $750 million in 2009, a whopping 117% annual growth rate. M-commerce’s time has arrived, and it is an easy bet that sales in 2010 will pass the $1 billion mark.
Whereas consumers once limited their mobile phone purchases to downloadable ringtones and games, today they are using their devices to buy books, apparel and other items associated with online shopping on a PC.
Retailers Grapple with Measuring Social Commerce
A number of major retailers have established a presence on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. For now, retailers are intent to learn from these experiments and are not too concerned with driving e-commerce sales. Building brand awareness and a solid fan base and generating leads have been deemed sufficient. But in 2010, retailers will become more serious about trying to measure social media’s impact on sales. One question retailers will grapple with is how much a large fan base translates into sales or brand loyalty.

Social Networking Sites on Which US Online Retailers Maintain a Presence, April 2009 (% of total*)

   Noah Elkin, Senior Analyst
Mobile: Moving into the Mainstream
Although mobile usage is firmly entrenched among consumers, marketers still view mobile as an emerging channel, hence the long-running (and always unfulfilled) expectations about the “year of mobile.” 2010 promises to be a little different. Aided by a flurry of acquisition activity, an influx of venture capital funding and growing brand adoption in the latter half of 2009, the year ahead will see mobile continue its shift toward the marketing mainstream.
Mobile ad spending will rise from $416 million in 2009 to $593 million in 2010 as more brands and agencies integrate mobile into their marketing mix. And if not an outright arms race, Google’s $750 million purchase of AdMob is certain to prompt greater interest in the mobile space from agencies, brands and media companies alike.

US Mobile Advertising Spending, 2008-2013 (millions)

The fusion of mobile and social and the appetite for apps (among both consumers and brands) will continue unabated. In fact, location- and social-aware apps and utilities will be a key avenue for brands looking to engage consumers on the go. Cheaper smartphones and smarter feature phones will help marketers bridge the gap with consumers, but the onus is still on marketers to provide consumers with a measure (and measurable degree) of utility, relevance and entertainment.
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Check out today’s other article, “Digital Point-of-Sale Gives Brand Marketers an Edge.”
Tomorrow, check out analyst predictions on social media and paid content.