Mobile commerce in the United States is expected to grow nearly 50% in the next four years, but most companies still are allocating modest budgets to that channel, according to data shared today with attendees at Monetate’s 4th annual Summit.Mobile Commerce

Sucharita Mulpuru, Vice President, Principal Analyst, Forrester, presented a landscape analysis on the “State of Mobile Commerce in 2014” to attendees, giving them an in-depth look at industry trends, consumer behaviors, and those organizational challenges that are preventing many brands from creating compelling moments for customers to shop online.

Some of those issues relate to the fact that 4 out of every 10 brands are allocating less than $500,000 to their mobile commerce strategy, Mulpuru said.

Despite the upward trajectory of mobile commerce, Mulpuru pointed out that current conversion rates for mobile are “terrible” and average order values are similarly low when compared with tablet and desktop transactions (56% of all mobile orders are less than $50, while that figure is 41% for tablets and 22% for desktop).

Consumers, she said, not only complain about traditional roadblocks such as screen size and the perception of security, they also have issues regarding ease of use.

That final point was an important one. Mulpuru said that Forrester projects that the more traditional roadblocks will be eliminated with time as consumers begin feeling more comfortable with the idea of mobile being a commerce channel.

How are brands easing the mobile shopping experience, then?

Mulpuru said apps are high performers when it comes to conversions, but that consumers haven’t been convinced that apps are a necessity when it comes to making a mobile purchase. Further, brands that invest in apps are struggling with a host of issues centered around updates, consumer awareness and possible privacy restrictions.

The solution to the challenge, she said, is an investment in a strategy that helps brands optimize their customers’ mobile experiences and creates “mobile moments” that help push a customer to conversion.

Smartphone photo courtesy of Shutterstock.