42% Mobile Commerce Growth; 33% Buy via Smartphone

It’s been obvious for some time that mobile commerce has been increasing and now some additional global research points to just about how much.

A new mobile shopping study found that mobile commerce is growing 42% annually over a four-year period, even though it’s still a relatively small portion of online spending.

Smartphone purchases account for 9% of online spending and tablets 5%, according to the research.

The study comprised a survey of 18,000 adults with an internet enabled device and included consumers in 22 countries. The research was conducted by market research firm Ipsos for PayPal, which said it has seen its mobile growth rise from less than 1% of its payment volume in 2010 to more than 20% last year.

A third (33%) of online shoppers made at least one purchase via smartphone in the past 12 months and 20% did via tablet. 

But there are differences by country. For example, more than two third (68%) of online shoppers in China used a smartphone to buy within the last 12 months.

A separate study by PwC found that almost half (47%) of consumers globally have made a purchase via phone, up from 30% two years ago, as I wrote about here recently (Mobile Shopping: 49% Research Products, Compare Prices).

That study was based on 19,000 online interviews with consumers in 19 countries, some different than those in the Ipsos survey.

The top mobile shopping markets are China, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, according to Ipsos.

Consistent with numerous other studies, consumers are using their smartphones to check out products in advance of a purchase. Here’s how they use their smartphones relating to commerce:

  • 36% -- Search for product information
  • 27% -- Help locate/find information about a store
  • 25% -- Read customer or user reviews

The barriers to smartphone shopping seem to revolve around personal preference. Of those who have not used their smartphones to shop in the past 12 months, here’s why:

  • 39% -- Prefer to purchase online from other devices
  • 34% -- Screen size is too small
  • 28% -- Prefer to access the Internet via other devices

 The top obstacle cited in the PwC study was concern about personal credit information being secure.

Commerce continues to grow but there clearly are some bumps in the road ahead.


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