Voice of the Industry

Top m-commerce trends to look for in 2021

Monday 1 February 2021 07:52 CET | Editor: Alex Guzu | Voice of the industry

Kendrick Sands from Euromonitor International provides an overview of the m-commerce landscape and its implications for the future of digital shopping

COVID-19 has accelerated existing m-commerce and consumer payment trends around the world. M-commerce growth has been limited by consumers not seeing the additional benefit over their existing preferred payment method. The pandemic has made clear the value from social distant purchasing both in proximity in-store and remote mobile payments. Euromonitor projects total m-commerce across 47 researched markets to reach USD 6.2 trillion by 2025. M-commerce across the same markets increased by 26% from 2019 to 2020. Some key developments in the immediate future for m-commerce will be the focus on virtual brand engagement, consolidation in the fintech space, rising level of fraud, and an increase in mobile proximity payments.

Source: Euromonitor International

Virtual brand engagement

Companies have always sought to reach consumers where they already are, and with COVID-19 that has meant at home on their digital device. Social media companies have been well-positioned to connect companies to consumers and have launched several shopping platforms in 2020. In May, Facebook launched Shops, which enabled brands to set up virtual storefronts. Google launched Shoploop, a video shopping platform for discovering and purchasing products. Amazon opened up Amazon Live to influencers to enable them to earn money from it. Alibaba Group and JD.com recently hosted their annual 6.18 shopping festival, which generated USD 136 billion in sales. During the event, Alibaba Group’s Taobao Live welcomed 300 celebrities and 600 brand executives to engage with consumers in real time. More than 50,000 retailers leveraged livestreaming capabilities to reach consumers during the event. Consumers are growing to expect this level of engagement, and these additional platforms will drive m-commerce growth in 2021.

Fintech acquisitions to continue

M-commerce growth has led to a rise in financial card payment value much more than electronic direct/ACH payment growth. Due to the pandemic, from 2019 to 2020 global consumer payment value fell – with paper payments declining 17% but card payment value increasing 2%. The financial card networks have invested heavily in securing their position in payments partially through fintech acquisitions. In 2019 Mastercard acquired Ethoca, Vyze, Transactis, and RiskRecon, and in 2020 they acquired IfOnly and Finicity.

In 2020 Visa acquired Plaid for USD 5.3 billion. These acquisitions allow the card networks to be well-placed in an evolving digital payment landscape and will likely continue into 2021. A complete m-commerce platform has many pieces, but the card networks will continue to be at the centre.

Rising rates of fraud

The total value lost to fraud from financial cards has accelerated as more payment volume has moved digital. Of the seven categories that Euromonitor researches – card not present (CNP) has become the most widespread. CNP fraud accounted for 69% of total fraud in 2020. In the US, the total value lost to fraud increased in 2020 to amount to .12% of all card payments, well above the .04% global average. Without additional security standards adopted, total value lost to fraud is expected to continue to increase and could impact m-commerce growth.

Source: Euromonitor International

Proximity payments gain momentum

The pandemic has increased consumer demand for less physical interaction during in-store payments, and contactless provides an efficient solution. M-commerce proximity payments increased 35% in 2020 in the researched markets, and they are projected to reach USD 1.8 trillion by 2025. In markets where contactless payments were not adopted, the infrastructure has been rapidly rolled out – and in markets where it has been adopted, consumers are utilising it more with networks allowing for higher value limits per transaction. While there has been a push for contactless in the past, since COVID-19 there is more consumer support than ever before, and it will drive greater adoption in 2021.

The pandemic has accelerated m-commerce growth and will leave a lasting impact on consumer payments and retail. The way companies and brands interact with consumers through their devices will continue to add value for customers. Financial card networks will likely remain the underlying technology processing m-commerce transactions, and they will expand their suite of products and services for merchants, consumers, and financial card issuers through fintech acquisition.

With more payment volume going digital and without new security measures, total value lost to fraud will increase. And finally, contactless proximity payments can provide a solution for in-store payments throughout the pandemic.

This editorial was first published in our Cross-Border Payments and Ecommerce Report 2020–2021, which assesses the change of pace that occurred in 2020 and provides a comprehensive overview of the major trends driving growth in this space, being the ultimate source of information for players interested in selling across borders.

About Kendrick Sands

Kendrick Sands is Head of Consumer Finance Research at Euromonitor International, where he has worked since 2010. He organises research for 47 markets and consults with a wide range of clients from several industries. He has a master’s from the University of Chicago and BA from Trinity College Dublin.


About Euromonitor International

Euromonitor International is the world’s leading provider for global business intelligence, market analysis, and consumer insights. Our research solutions support decisions on how, where, and when to grow your business. With offices around the world, analysts in over 100 countries, the latest data science techniques and market research on every key trend and driver, we help you make sense of global markets.


Free Headlines in your E-mail

Every day we send out a free e-mail with the most important headlines of the last 24 hours.

Subscribe now

Keywords: Kendrick Sands, Euromonitor International, m-commerce, ecommerce, mobile payments, online shopping, virtual storefronts
Categories: Payments & Commerce | Ecommerce
Countries: World
This article is part of category

Payments & Commerce