More than a third of smartphone owners buy goods using their mobile

Mobile Payments Go Mainstream

More than a third of smartphone owners have made at least one purchase on their device since they bought it, according to new data from comScore, which supports recent figures from mobile payments firm such as PayPal and Square that mobile commerce is on the rise. In a survey conducted in September, comScore claims that digital goods such as songs, ringtones and e-books, were the most popular items purchases via mobiles, accounting for almost half of transactions, followed by clothing bought directly from a retailer, which accounted for just more than a third.

Despite the mobility of devices such as smartphones and tablets, comScore found that more than half of smartphone owners say they make their mobile purchases in the home. The stat is leading some commentators to claim that it demonstrates a growing trust in mobile commerce among consumers, who opt to use their device despite a computer likely being nearby. Some 42% say they make purchases on the move in locations such as school or a restaurant. More than a third say they make purchases via their mobile while in-store, representing the opportunity for retailers to target consumers via their smartphones while they are browsing the physical storefront.

comScore’s research comes as mobile commerce appears to be enjoying a boom in the run-up to Christmas. While US e-commerce spend soared to record levels on Black Friday in November, many highlighted the increasing impact of mobile commerce, with IBM research claiming that purchases made on mobile devices rocketed 200% year on year to account for 9.8% of all thanksgiving and Black Friday spend.

Overall, mobile commerce revenues are set to almost double this year to hit USD6.7bn in the US alone, according to research by eMarketer earlier this month, with analyst, Jeffrey Grau, telling StrategyEye that mobile will play an increasingly important role in both sales through devices and in-store: “Being able to target where that person is, and even who they are, knowing their purchase history will allow a retailer, theoretically, to send them relevant offers to get them into the store.”

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