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Mobile Commerce Sales to Top $100 Billion in 2014, Forrester Estimates

By 2018, 54 percent of all e-commerce will be happening on phones and tablets.

Jason Del Rey has been a business journalist for 15 years and has covered Amazon, Walmart, and the e-commerce industry for the last decade. He was a senior correspondent at Vox.

If you’re a retailer and you haven’t yet prioritized your mobile sites and apps, you may want to cover your eyes.

Commerce transactions in the U.S. completed on mobile phones and tablets are expected to total $114 billion in 2014, research firm Forrester is forecasting. Two-thirds of those sales, or about $76 billion, will happen via tablet computers, while the remainder will occur on phones. The $114 billion total includes an estimated $28 billion in transaction types not typically defined as e-commerce by Forrester, such as travel and food ordering purchases.

If those numbers aren’t enough to convince you that this mobile shopping thing isn’t a fad, here’s more proof: Nearly a third (29 percent) of all e-commerce transactions will occur on a tablet or mobile phone this year, the research firm says.

And by 2018, that percentage will shoot up to 54 percent of the total $414 billion in e-commerce sales expected, according to Forrester.

One more fun fact — and a surprising one at that — from Forrester’s report: Despite all the attention given to digital commerce, Forrester estimates that e-commerce purchases made on any kind of digital device still account for only nine percent of total commerce transactions in the U.S. That’s a strong sign that there’s still a lot of life in brick-and-mortar retail.

Based on the impressive mobile and e-commerce numbers above, you would think digital commerce would grab a much larger share within the next five years. However, Forrester says e-commerce will still account for only 11 percent of total retail transactions by 2018.

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