New research from eMarketer projects that retail ecommerce holiday sales in the U.S. will increase by about 15%, to $61.8 billion, this year, with mobile commerce expected to provide a significant percentage of holiday spending across the retail industry. Not only does this build on the gains realized last year, it is good news for small business retailers who have added e- and m-commerce capabilities to their business operations.

For the entire year, eMarketer anticipates that total retail sales for the mcommerce segment of the ecommerce market will exceed $41.5 billion. All indicators point towards this growth to continue, and should top the $100 billion mark by 2017.

Tablets are driving this growth, as increasingly greater numbers of consumers incorporate their use into daily activities, especially when locating and purchasing merchandise and services. According to the report, eMarketer anticipates that “This year… tablet retail mcommerce sales will hit $26.05 billion, or 62.5% of US retail mcommerce sales overall.”

The information also revealed that dollars spent on purchases made via smartphones would continue growing at healthy double-digit rates, with smartphone retail purchases exceeding $14 billion this year alone. By 2017, that number is expected to reach, and surpass, $30 billion.

The research revealed that mobile devices contribute to overall commerce sales growth in two ways. They not only drives total sales through mobile purchasing, but the convenient researching capabilities of mobile devices is bringing shoppers into stores in increasing numbers in order to make on-site purchases.

The eMarketer observations are based on research taken from more than 60 sources and evaluation of data from 300 measurable statistical samples.

Reference: “Mobile Devices to Boost US Holiday Ecommerce Sales Growth”, September 5, 2013.