It’s kind of ironic, but more people use their mobile phone to shop from home, than use it while on the go. If that doesn’t prove that mobile phones have become part of our daily lives, what does?
comScore studied the shopping habits of smartphone owners this past September and came up with some interesting numbers.
“In September we saw two-thirds of all smartphone owners perform shopping activities on their phones, including comparing products and prices, searching for coupons, taking product pictures or locating a retail store”
So what are folks shopping for? Not surprisingly, the majority of the purchases (47%) are for digital goods such as apps, music and ebooks. What is a surprise is that clothing and accessories rank top for physical goods with 37%. After that, it’s back to the virtual world with daily deals, tickets and gift certificates.
Here’s the full chart:
When it comes to mobile shopping, conventional wisdom states that people are concerned about the safety of conducting a financial transaction. But safety obviously isn’t a concern for the 47% of mobile users who bought digital items.
The more likely reason that we hesitate to buy physical objects is that it’s too difficult. I bought flowers today and the check-out process involved four screens worth of data. Dozens of boxes to check and double check, plus a coupon code to enter, and two more screens after I chose to pay with Paypal. That was bad enough on my computer, I would have gone mad trying to do that on a small, mobile phone screen.
On the other hand, I bought a song on iTunes by pressing one button and putting in my password. Done. Same for my ebooks on Amazon.
comScore’s numbers prove that people are willing to shop from their phones, and not just when they’re in a hurry and on the go. People want to shop while sitting on their couch. That means that online stores need to provide a mobile solution. A quick way of buying and checking out that doesn’t make people want to give up in the middle of the process.
Mark Donovan of comScore puts it this way:
“Considering there are currently 90 million smartphone owners in the U.S., retailers without a well-developed mobile strategy are not only missing a tremendous opportunity with these customers but also risk becoming obsolete in the minds of these digital omnivores.”
Nobody wants to become obsolete.
comScore is running a free webinar on the subject on Wednesday, December 7. It might be worth checking out if you’re in the retail biz.