Mobile commerce sales this year will be just about double those of last year and the outlook is for an additional 73.1% gain to $11.6 billion next year, according to an eMarketer analysis. "And mobile acts as an engine of overall e-commerce growth by converting potential brick-and-mortar sales to digital sales as consumers use their smartphones while shopping in-store," said eMarketer analyst Jeffrey Grau. The surge, though, raises the risk for local businesses that consumers will use them merely for browsing unless the retailer works at "retaining the sale via a different channel," Grau said.

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