Mobile Shopping & the Impulse Purchase

While mobile consumers use their phones throughout the shopping process, some may be persuaded into spur-of-the-moment purchases.

It turns out that the growth in smartphone usage is driving impulse purchases, based on a new Europe-wide study of mobile usage.

More than 140 million Europeans now routinely shop via mobile phone, according to the Financial Empowerment in the Digital Age study for ING conducted by Ipsos, which comprised a survey of 12,403 people in 13 European countries.

The survey found that 42% regularly buy on impulse compared to a quarter (25%) of non-mobile shoppers.

Tops on the list for mobile shoppers is clothing, accounting for 23% of items purchased, electronics at 21%, games at 12%, with holidays, music and groceries all at 11%.

The top impulse buyers are British while the Netherlands is the most advanced nation in mobile banking, according to the study.

Almost half (47%) of consumers in the Netherlands are banking on smartphones, compared to about a third (31%) of Britons and 17% in France.

The Netherlands is Europe's most advanced nation when it comes to mobile banking, with almost half (47 per cent) banking on their smartphone, compared to about a third (31%) of Britons and fewer than one in five (17%) in France.

As one indicator that mobile payments are inching forward in Europe, about half (49%) of consumers said they use physical cash less often than they did a year ago and 40% say they rarely use it.

Looking forward, almost half (45%) of consumers said they will use cash less in the next 12 months.

"In terms of long-term economic trends, the growth of smartphone use and acceptance of technology is likely to hasten the growth of cashless payments,” said ING senior economist Ian Bright.

With mobile influencing multiple points in the Mobile Shopping Life Cycle, it could only be expected to see that impact extending to impulse purchases.

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