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In Between the Numbers: The value of m-commerce: Is it where we think?

September 21, 2011 at 7:58 pm PST

 Thinking today about mobility – cell phones, smartphones, tablets – and where and when it’ll be changing the rules of retail.

 Forrester made a solid case this June that it won’t be as a transaction tool.   They – and eMarketer.com – expect M-commerce to be only 7% of total E-commerce revenue by 2016, which means M-com will total only 1% of retail merchandise purchase market.

 Gartner made the case this May (echoed by Forrester) that it won’t be as an electronic wallet – at least not until 2015 and beyond.  Despite the fact that some 40-50 NFC-enabled smart phones will be shipped this year, the complexities of collaboration between service providers, financial institutions, retailers, and standards bodies is rendering progress slow and tortuous. (To see a preview, rewind to the past decade’s EPC-RFID efforts.)

 And yet: The future of the personal communication and computing is increasingly mobile, and that means retailers are looking at a potential opportunity.

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