Mobile Phone Use ‘Exploding’ in E-Commerce, Study Shows
More than half of all online consumers in the United States either already are using or plan to use their mobile phones for shopping, according to a new study.
Thirty-three percent of the 10,000 e-commerce shoppers questioned by ForeSee Results indicated they had accessed a retailer’s website using a mobile phone during the 2010 holiday season, compared with 24 percent in 2009. An additional 26 percent said they planned to use a mobile phone to visit a retailer’s website, mobile website or mobile app in the future.
“Mobile purchase behavior is exploding,” the study said.
Other findings of the study include:
• 30 percent used a mobile phone to research products on the Internet, look up prices, find store locations and so forth, compared with 11 percent in 2009.
• 11 percent made online purchases from a mobile phone, up from 2 percent in 2009.
• 15 percent used a mobile phone to compare products or prices while in a store, up from 3 percent the year before.
• 7 percent used a retailer-developed mobile shopping app, up from 1 percent in 2009.
• While visiting a traditional store, more than two-thirds of mobile shoppers (69 percent) used a phone to visit the store’s website. Nearly half (46 percent) also used a phone to access a competing retailer’s website, up from 26 percent in 2009.
“Having accessible and easy-to-use in-store product comparison tools may be one way to prevent customers from turning to competitors for information and to make purchases,” the study said.
A 2010 report from ABI Research forecast that mobile online shopping would generate $119 billion in sales by 2015. That figure represents about 8 percent of the total e-commerce market.
Of the top 40 e-retailers measured in the Foresee Results study, 1-800-Flowers.com had the largest proportion of customer use of its mobile app in the past three months – 14 percent.
In all, one in five (21 percent) of 1-800-Flowers.com customers had used a mobile phone to access the company’s website or mobile app. That put it in third place among the 40 e-tailers in the study. No. 1 was Apple (31 percent). Nordstrom took the second spot, with 23 percent.
“Applications and websites tailored to mobile shoppers are a must-have for retailers. As smartphone use increases, more customers will turn to the mobile channel to find price and product information before making a purchase,” the study said.
“Whether or not a customer turns to a specific retailer’s site or app will be dependent on availability and ease of use.”