The mobile industry is booming according Steven Noble from Forrester Research who presented a snapshot of some new findings at the Online Retailer Conference & E-Commerce Expo.

The Forrester Research senior analyst said research undoubtedly confirmed that mobile commerce has grown significantly this year.

The joint survey by Online Retailer and Forrester Research – for the first time – found the majority (55 per cent) of Australian online retail professionals reported they are selling via mobile. This figure is up from 39 per cent in 2011 and just 16 per cent in 2010 – a growth being led by increased consumer demand.

The new data also showed that retailers' interest in mobile has not just grown but has surged to the top of the investment priority list, overtaking the core e-commerce platform. Among the Australian online retail professionals already selling via the mobile web, 49 per cent said that mobile sites were a top investment priority for the year ahead. Furthermore, 54 per cent of multichannel retailers and 29 per cent of pureplays say mobile sites are now a top technology investment priority for the year ahead.

“Previously, we'd found retailers that were struggling to find enough time to address even basic issues like the need for good product photography. This time around we found significant investment programs such as mobile commerce usage and uptake,” Noble said.

Additionally, despite the growth of mobile and apps, Australian online retailer professionals are still taking quite a narrow approach to mobile. When it comes to mobile, most retailers are focused on the purchasing phase and are neglecting the role that mobile commerce could play within the wider customer life cycle, including marketing or customer service. In fact, just 5 per cent are currently using mobile channel usage data to better understand their customers.