Mobile shopping will increase by nearly 50 per cent over the next two years, taking user numbers to 580 million by the end of 2014 (currently 292 million), according to Juniper Research's Mobile payments for digital and physical goods: Opportunity analysis 2012-2017 report.

The average size and scale of purchases is also predicted to continue, with total annual transaction values from remote digital and physical goods purchases to hit $730 billion within five years.

Juniper Research said that this is a result of greater consumer confidence in the mobile device as both a content browsing and payment mechanism.

The forecast reflects the increasing important of mobile as an eRetail channel, with retailers witnessing a marked uplift in mobile as a proportion of online transactions. Juniper Research said that average tablet transaction sizes already exceed those on desktops and laptops.

However, the report indicates that a majority of retailer sites are not optimised for mobile browsing, thus hindering potential progress in the mobile shopping industry.

"Consumers increasingly expect to be able to buy their products and services via their smartphones and tablets," report author, Windsor Holden, said. "Companies which do not offer this option face falling behind their competitors."

Of course, security still remains an issue for end users, although the scale of these concerns has not yet been translated into consumer adoption of security solutions on the handset.