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1 in 8 European smartphone owners have conducted a retail transaction on their device

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According to the latest figures from comScore, the mobile retail audience in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom (the so called EU5) nearly doubled over the past year, with 1 in 6 smartphone users accessing online retail sites and apps on their device. In addition, 1 in 8 EU5 smartphone users actually completed a retail transaction on their phones.

“E-Commerce has become central to many consumers’ digital lives over the past few years, but we are now observing a rapid increase in the emergence of m-commerce, where consumers visit retail sites or use dedicated apps and ultimately make on-device purchases,” explains Hesham Al-Jehani, European mobile product manager at comScore. “While smaller screen sizes can be an impediment to people conducting transactions on mobile devices, retailers have responded to the changing consumer environment by simplifying the transaction processes and improving the mobile experience to facilitate on-the-go purchasing.”

Retail Site Visitation via Smartphone Differs Significantly Across EU5
In May 2012, 16.6% of the EU5 smartphone audience accessed online retail sites and apps, displaying an increase of 4.6%age points in the past year. Spain was the fastest growing market with a growth rate of 141% to nearly 2 million smartphone users accessing retail brands like Amazon and eBay on their handsets.

The UK was the largest market by absolute numbers with 6.5 million smartphone retail users, but also had the least rapid growth rate at 74%. Germany ranked a close second with 5.8 million retail users, and also had a relatively high penetration of mobile retail users at 22.6%.

An analysis of the top 5 types of goods and services purchased via smartphones showed clothing or accessories (4.3% of smartphone audience) and books (3.2%) to be the most popular retail categories. Other services or goods purchased by European smartphone owners were consumer electronics/household appliances (3.1%), tickets (3.1%) and personal care/hygiene products (2.1%).

“Given Europeans’ existing predilection for online apparel shopping, it is not surprising to see this category rank as the most popular for purchase via mobile devices. But it’s also possible the category’s popularity corresponds with the heavy use of email marketing, with consumers more likely to see and respond to offers on their phones when they check their email,” says Al-Jehani.

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