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M-commerce still offers huge potential for brands and retailers in the US

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Despite the hype, 41% of US shoppers – that’s close on 103 million Americans – currently won’t use their smart phones or tablets to buy products and services online, new research reveals: meaning either m-commerce is a dud or that there is still huge potential to make it grow.

The study, conducted by the digital marketing experts The BIO Agency, highlights that there is still a massive opportunity for leading brands and retailers in the US to capitalise on their spend through mobile and tablet channels. Already 142 million people in the US spend money through mobile every month with the average consumer likely to spend between $20 and $50.

Findings revealed that the most common purchases made through m-commerce in the States were entertainment products such as apps, games, e-books and music, whilst jewellery, gadgets, fashion, food and travel were found to be the least purchased items.

Unsurprisingly the adoption of m-commerce is inexorably linked to age, with 18-24s being the most likely age group to use their devices as a shopping channel and the over 55s the least likely.

More than a quarter of 18-24s have purchased an app through their phone or tablet, while the same age group are also the highest purchasers of entertainment products such as baseball tickets, and were the only group found to buy jewellery through their handheld devices. This indicates that the younger generation are using M-commerce as an entertainment channel.

Youngsters are the significantly more likely to purchase food on the go than any other age group, suggesting a trend for young moms and dads, saving time by doing their weekly grocery shop whilst on the move. This group were also more likely to buy travel products through M-commerce, again suggesting that the channel is used as a time-saving device.

35-44 year olds were the largest market for fashion retailers, potentially as a result of being the catalogue generation and intrinsically comfortable with mail order.

45-54 year olds, on the other hand, were found to be the best market for book retailers through M-Commerce.

Peter Veash, Managing Director, The BIO Agency explains: “As an agency that operates in the US and UK, I am excited about the transatlantic learnings we can share through the increased investments by brands and retailers into m-commerce. Research shows that M-commerce does not cannibalise traditional or online shopping, it increases overall spend. Those brands that continue to build trust-based, long-lasting relationships with their customers will, as an inevitable consequence see sales through tablets and mobile increase. Any growth through m-commerce aligned with a good marketing strategy will significantly increase the brand’s market share.”

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