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Digital Commerce Users will Reach 3 Billion by 2021

The mobile internet is a proven catalyst for online retail innovation. For some time, it's been clear that the mobile device -- either smartphone or media tablet -- is increasingly important in the world of digital commerce transaction growth across the globe.

Leading industry analysts have already observed a shift in the market dynamics -- where the smartphone was once used merely as a means for discovery, to a situation where now it's used for both product discovery and for online purchase.

This trend appears to be a natural progression from the relatively stagnant tablet industry, where a lack of market momentum has been compounded by the emergence of large-screen smartphones offering an improved online purchase experience.

Digital Commerce Market Development

Indeed, mobile applications as a whole are gaining traction as a remote goods purchase vehicle, although the smartphone growth is clearly accelerating much faster than that of the media tablet.

According to the latest worldwide market study by Juniper Research, users of digital commerce services will reach 3 billion by 2021 -- or 40 percent of the global population -- that's up from just 32 percent this year.

The new research found that two core sectors will dominate the global digital commerce industry, in terms of transaction values: remote payments for digital or physical goods and digital banking via bill payment services.


These market segments will account for over half of all global transaction values by 2021. Significant opportunity for businesses exists, with remote payments for digital and physical goods forecast to account for over 10 percent of the $20 trillion global retail market in 2017.

Moreover, businesses will gain advantage through use of highly automated customer experiences. With product search and discovery a key stage in the online shopper journey, merchants must adopt conversational interfaces to drive customer engagement and, ultimately, sales.

That being said, Juniper analysts found that by 2021 the surge in chatbot use will result in positive gains throughout the digital commerce market.

Outlook for New Digital Experiences in Retail

"Juniper has found that chatbots and natural language search can greatly improve retailer understanding of consumer behavior, so we are witnessing growth in this sector, for example investment by Facebook and Google, as well as the launch of digital assistants by companies such as Amazon," said Lauren Foye, senior analyst at Juniper Research.

In addition, the latest research discovered that digital banking will increasingly envelop a greater proportion of the global population, with adoption forecast to approach 1 in 2 adults by 2021.

Juniper also found that usage will continue to rise as consumers increasingly opt for banks offering the convenience of rapid, multi-channel digital services. Providers will need to focus on presenting easy-to-use digital experiences to their customers, especially to remain as local market leaders.

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