At the beginning of 2012, mobile retail sales represented 1.5% of overall UK online sales. A recent report commissioned by PayPal has predicted that mobile retail sales will reach the £2.5bn mark by 2016. At the moment, on average, each mobile shopper spends around £100 per year, but it's expected that this figure will also jump up to £180 per year by 2016.
Their five year forecast anticipates an upcoming explosion in mobile retail which will mainly be fuelled by the increased ownership of smart phones and the growing number of companies embracing sophisticated mobile shopping experiences. So, does this also indicate a boom in digital jobs to boot?
The rise of the mobile shopper
Increasingly, the average shopper wants speed and absolute convenience when it comes to their purchasing. Although mobile retail isn't a fully established, widespread habit just yet, mobile shoppers are buying much more than the obvious digital downloads. While digital downloads designed for mobile consumption are still the most common purchase, a large range of items are being bought via mobile devices.
PayPal's report shows that buying from an app store is the most common route to purchase for most mobile shoppers and the use of shopping apps is growing steadily. In addition, mobile access to traditional e-commerce sites continues to play a key role in harnessing the purchasing potential of mobile internet users.
What does this mean for marketing and retail professionals?
Brand interaction and purchasing decisions are evolving rapidly. While the internet is now a staple sales channel for most retail firms, there are still major advancements being made in the way we access these online purchasing portals.
It's now essential for many professionals in the marketing, retail and technology space to have a strong awareness of digital routes to market and a good understanding of online retail trends. As mobile retail is still a fairly new phenomenon, there isn't extensive experience in this area and proven track records are hard to come by in prospective hires. As mobile devices continue to impact on retailers' capacity to make sales, it could transpire that a limited talent pool exists to fulfil the demands of this advancing trend.
In many sectors, digital skills and experience are fast becoming a crucial asset for career success. Failing to embrace new technologies and get to grips with online, multi-channel offerings could put the more traditional skill sets at a disadvantage. To really make an impact, professionals in these fields must now be multifaceted and well versed in the changing multimedia retail landscape.
Just as shoppers want online convenience at their fingertips, so do employers seek digital expertise at theirs. We've already seen a surge in demand for SEO, PPC and other online marketing skills over the past couple of years, and mobile marketing knowledge is increasingly sought after.
As consumer demands expand, retail-orientated CVs must also extend to accommodate growing channels to market. A lack of digital skills and experience could unfortunately see many good candidates get left behind as the age of mobile technology races ahead.
You can download the full PayPal report here: http://mediazone.brighttalk.com/event/Emap/44bf89b631-5623-registration