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Growing percentage of digital purchases transacted via mobile: Mojiva exec

Merchants running mobile advertising campaigns claim that between 5 and 10 percent of their digital purchases are coming from mobile devices, according to a Mojiva executive.

Mobile commerce sales in the United States are expected to hit $5.3 billion in 2011, up 83 percent from a year ago, according to Barclays Capital. Mobile advertising is poised to play an increasing role in driving consumers to commerce-enabled mobile apps, sites and landing pages.

“Ecommerce over mobile devices is already a burgeoning aspect of our industry, but the introduction of devices like Apple’s iPad, the Motorola Xoom and other Honeycomb devices, as well as mobile gadgets with a larger screen, means that that true desktop-on-the-go experience we’ve all been talking about for years is actually happening,” said Tony Nethercutt, San Francisco-based general manager of North America at Mojiva.

“Mobile advertising is creeping ever so close to the full Web experience and we expect mobile consumers to increasingly adopt that as their standard environment for making purchases,” he said.

“Advertisers are telling us today that 5 to 10 percent of their digital purchases are coming from mobile devices, and they know that number will only go up once they make more aggressive investments in mobile.”

Mojiva is a mobile ad network claiming to reach more than 77 million users worldwide. It represents 3,000-plus mobile publishers and apps, including ABC, Univision, TMZ, International Business Times and MySpace.

Mobile commerce boom
ABI Research projected that in 2015, shoppers around the world are expected to spend about $119 billion on goods and services purchased via mobile phones. That number would represent about 8 percent of the total ecommerce market.

Mobile online shopping is reaching critical mass.

In the United States, mobile online shopping rose from $396 million in 2008 to $1.2 billion in 2009. That represents more than a threefold increase in one year, indicating significant consumer interest.
ABI Research noted even that $1 billion turnover in the U.S. is dwarfed by the size of the mobile online shopping market in Japan, which exceeded $10 billion in 2009 alone.
This market is growing solidly in Europe too, and is expected to outpace the U.S. by the end of 2010, per ABI Research.
The recent sharp spike in smartphone adoption and the corresponding enthusiasm for the mobile Internet has been the major driver for mobile online shopping in the U.S.

Many more retailers have been launching mobile commerce Web sites and apps.

A longer-term driver in global terms is the fact that in many less-industrialized regions, mobile is virtually the only way to access the Internet.
A subset of mobile commerce is the trade in virtual goods, generally associated with online gaming.

This too has seen rapid uptake, as mobile payments are the best option for online purchases under about $20, according to ABI Research. This way of shopping is especially suitable for those – often young gamers – without credit cards.

Mobile advertising is one effective tactic to influence purchasing decisions and drive commerce.

“Retailers are going to gravitate to mobile more and more because they can drive actual sales,” Mr. Nethercutt said. “Mobile commerce is just starting to come into its own, but once more merchants enable mobile-specific purchasing experiences, those numbers are going to go up fast.

“Most marketers are tuned in to the fact that mobile usage is growing quickly,” he said. “Once they start to promote mobile purchasing experiences, the growth is going to be stunning.”

Final Take
Mr. Nethercutt