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15pc of consumers have made purchase with mobile device: study


Consumers are increasingly using their mobile devices to make purchases

A retail study from AT&T Inc.’s Sterling Commerce and ecommerce service provider Demandware Inc. found that consumers are increasingly turning to mobile devices to add depth and convenience to their in-store shopping experience.

The independent survey, which examined consumer preferences and attitudes surrounding mobile shopping, found that 15 percent of consumers have used their mobile devices to make purchases. However, the study also found that concerns around security and ease-of-use threaten the progress of mobile shopping and payments.

“The key finding is that 15 percent of all mobile phone users—not just smartphone users—made a purchase from their mobile phone,” said Adam Forrest, product marketing manager at Demandware, Woburn, MA. “The age demographic with the highest usage was 25-34 with 21 percent of them making a purchase from their mobile phone.

“Not surprisingly this is also the same demographic that had the highest percentage of smartphones,” he said. “The speed of mobile networks, screen resolutions and overall usability of the phones are increasing the growth of mobile shopping.”

This online survey was conducted by SmartRevenue in June/July 2010 and surveyed 3,611 male and female consumers ages 18 and older living in the United States. 

Mobile shopping adoption is growing
While nearly all (96.2 percent) of consumers surveyed own a mobile phone, just under half owned a smartphone, which are designed to deliver a more optimal shopping experience.

The study revealed interesting trends surrounding how consumers are looking to their mobile device to support their in-store shopping experience.

More than 60 percent believe that being able to use their mobile phone while shopping to verify product availability at a particular store location is important to very important.

Nearly a quarter of shoppers use their phone while in a store to competitively price shop an item.

Approximately 20 percent of consumers currently use their phones to create shopping lists or baskets, and slightly more than that number would be interested in a mobile application to help with shopping list or basket management for their favorite retailers.

Two-thirds are interested in the possibility of using their mobile phone to scan and purchase items, thus enabling them to bypass checkout lines.

A quarter of shoppers believe that receiving specials and promotions such as coupons would be an important use for their mobile phone when shopping, although they were less enthusiastic about receiving advertising via their phones.

While the increasing consumer adoption rate of mobile devices has long been recognized by retailers, these survey findings suggest that offering mobile access to the brand is no longer just a “nice to have”—it has become a necessity, according to Demandware.

The mandate for retailers is not only to create a mobile channel to give consumers more options, but also to find innovative ways to leverage mobile to influence consumer shopping and purchase behavior across all sales channels.

“Consumers are purchasing off their phones at a rapid rate and if your site is not optimized for mobile shopping by using a mobile Web application, you run the risk of losing customers to competitors that make the shopping experience on their mobile phone easy,” Mr. Forrest said.

Concerns linger
Other findings of the survey continued to highlight consumers’ concerns around security and ease-of-use with mobile devices.

Respondents cited the following concerns:

• Internet non-connectivity (40 percent)

• Difficulty with the small screen size (34 percent) and therefore difficulty in visualizing the products (31 percent)

• Security issues (28 percent)

• Slow interaction with the retailer Web site (22 percent)

• Difficulties in entering information due to a small keypad (21 percent)

Although security issues were mentioned as a concern by only 28 percent of respondents, the top solutions that would encourage more mobile phone purchases all deal with security.

Nearly half of consumers would like the option of using PayPal.

Nearly 40 percent would feel secure knowing that the mobile phone application would not store their credit card number.

A quarter of consumers would prefer that the mobile phone would only show a truncated credit card number using the last four digits.

About 20 percent would like to be prompted to enter their three-digit credit card security number.

“The most surprising finding was consumers’ security concerns,” Mr. Forrest said. “Transacting through a mobile phone uses the same secure protocols as using a laptop or PC.

“Consumers access HTTPS sites and all information is encrypted,” he said. “Demandware’s mobile Web application follows all the same security standards and PCI Compliance as the sites accessed through the PC.”

Final Take
Dan Butcher, associate editor, Mobile Commerce Daily