BERLIN: Mobile commerce sales are set to rise rapidly in Europe's major markets, generating almost €20bn in five years' time, a forecast has suggested.

Forrester, the research firm, polled 14,000 people in France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the UK, and estimated as a result that returns from this channel stood at €1.7bn in 2011.

This total should hit €2.7bn in 2012 and €4.6bn in 2013, the company added, before reaching €7.4bn in 2014, and €10.7bn in 2015.

By 2016, the mobile commerce market across the nations assessed will be worth €14.7bn, thereafter attaining a value of €19.2bn in 2017.

More specifically, the medium's share of internet retail sales is due to increase from 1% last year to 6.8% at the close of the forecast period.

"While mobile commerce may only represent one or two percent of most retailers' online revenues today, it will grow to be a notable revenue driver over the next five years," Martin Gill, an analyst at Forrester, wrote.

"Retailer enablement of mobile experiences lags a little in many European countries right now, particularly in southern Europe.

By 2017, the top three outlets in value terms will be the UK on €6.1bn, ahead of Germany on €4.1bn and €3.1bn in France.

On average, consumers making purchases through their handsets will spend €227 per person in 2017, compared with €201 in 2011.

As such, the main driver of growth will be the rise in mobile shopper numbers, as the amount of buyers increases from just 7.6m in 2011 to over 79m, or roughly 45% of the mobile audience, in 2017.

"Simple, easy to merchandise categories such as books, DVDs, music, and event ticketing, where mobile-specific features such as immediacy and location can be leveraged, will grow most rapidly," said Gill.

Forrester's estimates included purchases of retail goods, services, gift cards, magazine subscriptions and transactions based on an in-store pick-up, but omitted payments made via tablets and at physical checkouts using a phone, as well as stock trades.

Data sourced from Internet Retailing, Forrester, Mashable; additional content by Warc staff