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Global consumer survey finds 88% of mobile media users now engage in mobile 
content and commerce

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Nearly nine in ten (88%) of the world’s mobile media users now engage in mobile content and commerce – up from 82% in 2011 – according to the findings of the MEF’s latest annual global consumer survey published today.

Conducted in partnership with On Device Research, the study across 10 countries – which defines mobile commerce as “anyone using a mobile phone for research, purchase or banking” – reveals that the mobile market is maturing, with 80% of all consumers using their phones for research, rising to 88% among over. Similarly 55% of people have purchased from their mobile but the figure is 64% for over 35s.

The biggest rises in mobile content and commerce are in growth markets, including Qatar (73% in 2011 to 86% in 2012), India (85 to 90%) and South Africa (89 to 95%). In contrast mature markets such as the UK have remained static at 91% for 2011 and 2012.

The lion’s share of mobile commerce is still centred on digital purchases rather than ‘real’ ones, however considerable growth is taking place in the ‘physical’ sector. In 2012, 54% bought digital products, unchanged from 2011. But 31% purchased physical items in 2012 rising from 24% in 2011.

The report reveals that 80% of people now use their phone for research, up from 58% in 2011, of which 69% then went on to make a purchase via mobile.

There is also a rise in mobile banking, with 64% of consumers now use their devices to conduct mobile banking (up from 57% in 2011). Interestingly, payment via card has taken over from operator billing, with 27% of those surveyed used a card for m-commerce, against just 14% making payments via the phone bill (not including purchasing airtime).

Entertainment (25%) and convenience (26%) are the primary reasons for engaging in mobile commerce but trust is also important with 13% citing ‘from a brand I know and trust’ as a key reason for purchasing via mobile. 35% of respondents admit that concerns around trust are acting as a barrier to purchasing more from a phone.

Andrew Bud, Global Chair MEF explains: “MEF’s 2012 report shows how far mobile has come as a channel for both consumer engagement and entertainment. Across the world, mobile content and commerce is increasingly the most convenient way to discover, to choose and to buy. The data has profound implications for brands, retailers and financial institutions, as well as the content and entertainment industry. We cannot be complacent: the report also reveals that trust is still a significant barrier for consumers and the industry must collaboratively address that to sustain growth.”

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