March 8, 2017

Digital technologies to influence 45% of retail sales by 2025 – GSMA report

By Emeka Aginam

LATEST reports by the GSM Association have estimated that digital technologies will influence up to 45 per cent of all retail sales by 2025.

The report titled, “Embracing the Digital Revolution: Policies for Building the Digital Economy,” developed in collaboration with Boston Consulting Group (BCG), called on policy makers to encourage digital advancement and prepare for the changes that lie ahead, while highlighting the risk of inaction.

According to the report, governments must pursue policies that encourage investment and promote development of digital economies, while building an inclusive digital future for their citizens.

“Digital and mobile technology has delivered far-reaching social and economic benefits at both the global and national levels,” John Giusti, Chief Regulatory Officer, GSMA, said, adding that, “as the digital and mobile revolution continues to accelerate, new technologies artificial intelligence, robotics and the Internet of Things promise great benefits but also continued disruption resulting from the digitalisation of many industry sectors.

“Forward-looking policies can enable citizens, businesses, societies and countries to prosper, improving lives and livelihoods, while mitigating the possible adverse effects that can accompany economic change.”

Digital technologies

According to Giusti, “governments have a critical role to play in creating an inclusive digital future by establishing a policy framework that incentivises network investment, by ensuring laws and regulations reflect the realities of today’s digital world, and by promoting digitalisation across the economy and society.”

The power of digitalisation, according to the report, enables businesses to operate more efficiently and to access new markets and customers.

“Digital technologies can better connect government with its citizens and have a major impact on day-to-day life, from shopping and banking to entertainment and connecting with friends and family. The report estimates, for example, that digital technologies will influence up to 45 per cent of all retail sales by 2025”, the report added.

GSMA research has examined the positive impact that mobile has on the worldwide economy. The mobile ecosystem generated 4.2 per cent of global GDP in 2015, a contribution of more than US$3.1 trillion of added economic value.

The benefit consumers receive from mobile technologies, the report said could be quantified using the economic concept of consumer surplus, which is the value that consumers receive, over and above what they pay for devices, apps, services and internet access.

BCG research in six countries including Brazil, China, Germany, India, South Korea and the United States, according to the report showed that mobile technologies have created US$6.4 trillion of annual consumer surplus, which is more than the individual GDP of every country in the world, with the exception of China and the United States.