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First-time mobile app transactions jump across verticals: report

In a reflection of the growth in using smartphone applications to complete commerce-related transactions, first-time transactions increased across the banking, car ride and restaurant industries, according to a new survey from Verizon.

The results suggest that if first-timers have satisfying, convenient experience with mobile app transactions, they could be back for more in 2016, helping to further spur mcommerce growth. The fastest-growing category in 2015 was car ride apps, per the report.

“Two thousand and fifteen was was a tremendous year for growth in consumer adoption of smartphone apps across all age groups, regions and throughout many verticals, especially shopping, travel and banking,” said Scott Charlston, public relations manager at Verizon. “ In large numbers, people are using smartphone apps to buy, book and bank.

“The trend is clear that the majority of millennials and very significant numbers of Gen X and Baby Boomers are now enjoying the convenience of apps to shop, do mobile banking, grab rides, book reservations and much more,” he said. “If your business is invisible in the world of smartphone apps, it may impact your bottom line.”

All ages
The survey, which was was conducted Jan. 4-6 by KRC Research for Verizon, found that 23 percent of smartphone owners made a purchase with an app for the first time last year.

Overall, 56 percent of smartphone owners purchased a product using an app in 2015. By age group, 70 percent of millennials purchased a product via an app last year, up 85 percent from 2014.

Among Gen X, 66 percent purchased a product via an app while 39 percent of Baby Boomers did so.

Mobile banking transactions via apps are also on the rise, with 55 percent of smartphone owners completing such a transaction in 2015 while 23 percent made such a transaction for the first time, up 70 percent from the previous year.

By age group, 67 percent of millennials, 62 percent of Gen X and 43 percent of Baby Boomers make a bank transaction using a smartphone app in 2015.

Car ride apps
The fastest growing category in the survey was ordering a taxi or car ride, which increased 124 percent from the prior year. Overall, 22 percent of those surveyed used an app to book a ride during 2015, compared to 10 percent in 2014.

By age group, 36 percent of millennials, 23 percent of Gen X and 8 percent of Baby Boomers ordered a taxi or car ride using a smartphone app.

When it comes to using an app to book a restaurant table, 26 percent of smartphone owners did so last year, with 11 percent doing so for the first time, a 72 percent increase.

Additionally, 22 percent used an app to purchase an airline flight, with 8 percent making their first booking last year, an increase of 54 percent.

“The oldest Baby Boomers are turning 70 in 2016…as a group 70 percent of them own a smartphone and they’re making transactions as they approach retirement – 43 percent do mobile banking and 39 percent are shopping with smartphone apps,” Mr. Charlston said. “I think that’s the biggest surprise.

“We were also surprised to see 124 percent growth in ordering a taxi or car ride using a smartphone app during 2015,” he said. “Among millennials, 91 percent of whom use a smartphone; 36 percent have used an app to get a ride.

“Across all age groups, we saw 72 percent  growth in booking restaurants with an app; 70 percent growth in mobile banking and a 54 percent rise in booking a flight last year.”