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1 in 8 European Consumers Have Made a Purchase on Mobile

Paul Skeldon takes a tour around the latest happenings in the mobile retailing space.

According 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 phone.

“Ecommerce 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 mcommerce, 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.”

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%).


The latest round of research by mobile ad network InMobi finds that mobile advertising influences 48% of consumers on their purchasing decisions, with more late-technology adopters embracing m-commerce, and of those yet to use it, 45% expect to do so within the next twelve months.

M-commerce has traditionally been driven by early adopters more comfortable with larger purchases through mobile transactions. However, InMobi’s survey shows that late adopters are now also more trusting of mobile platforms for purchases; m-commerce will become more prevalent across the more mainstream consumer sector. The growth of smartphones and tablets is strongly driving this, as more content is being consumed on mobile devices.

71% of UK consumers surveyed expect to use mcommerce in the next 12 months – this will continue to increase significantly. It is a strong sign for the industry that 20% of respondents are willing to spend over £20 on mobile purchases, with early adopters (26%) driving this trend and willing to spend even as much as £50 on mobile purchases.

The study also reveals that 63% of consumers have used m-commerce – a 9% increase from Q4 2011 – 47% buying digital goods; 34% buying physical goods; 26% on bill payments and 21% buying services.


UK consumers use only four mobile apps regularly, according to new research by user experience agency Webcredible . The apps used most frequently are for useful, practical purposes such as journey planning, searching for locations, booking tickets or finding voucher deals.

The most successful apps were those that had become part of a user’s daily routine. 40% of people taking part in the research had used location-sensitive apps from their phones to find the nearest hotel or coffee shop, while the study also found that 90% used their phone to get quick, necessary shopping tasks done when they were commuting.

None of the participants said they would make an expensive purchase, such as a laptop or car, on their phone, instead preferring to use a PC to view bigger images. Similarly, none would engage in grocery shopping from their phone; citing the small screen making the process tedious and time-consuming.


One in 11 men – or, to give them their proper name, “stupid men” – in loving relationships would forego sex for a month if it meant getting the new Apple iPhone 5 early – a new poll has revealed. The survey, by mobile casino, found that 9% of males would be happy to go celibate for a month if it meant they had the new iPhone ahead of its anticipated launch.

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