New Delhi: Global e-commerce sales via mobile devices are likely to hit $638 billion by 2018, said a study by the Associated Chambers of Commerce of India (Assocham)-Deloitte. The availability of e-commerce applications on various mobile devices is helping drive sales and thus, revenue at present, said the study released today.

“E-tailers like Flipkart, Amazon and Jabong now get 50% of their revenues from consumers shopping on their mobile phones. Predictive analytics is helping the e-tailers provide better solutions real-time, enabling compelling user experience even on mobile screens," Assocham secretary-general D.S. Rawat said. However, while shoppers want real-time, relevant, and personalised information and offers, retailers need to ensure this service comes with very strong privacy and security.

Trust, transparency, and protecting customer information will be critical to retaining loyalty as mobile retailing becomes the norm, stated the joint study. The launch of wearables such as Google Glass and Apple Watch opens up newer avenues for reaching out to customers.

The e-tailers are likely to keep an eye on developments on this front although it might be only an urban phenomenon at the moment, according to the study. E-marketplaces are seeing a significant growth with the increase in Internet penetration and smartphone usage. Internet-enabled handsets are making shopping a unique experience for buyers, it said.

The non-inventory-led B2C model also allows the e-commerce players to provide attractive discounts and offers that are difficult for inventory-led brick-and-mortar shops as well as pure e-tailers, the study pointed out. On the mode of payment, cash-on-delivery is the most preferred option in India, with 45% of shoppers using it, while 21% opt for debit cards and another 16% credit cards, the analysis found.