A third of smartphone users browsing retail sites on their phones

Source: eDigital Research

Mobile is playing an increasingly important role in the way that customers browse and research purchases, with a third of smartphone users browsing retail sites on their phones.

A survey by eDigital Research asked how people used phones as part of their research and purchase process and the results back the growing focus of retailers on mobile commerce, with a third of smartphone users browsing retail sites on their phones for research or to make a purchase.

The survey found that 30% of smartphone owners shop online at least once a week, compared with 17% with ‘ordinary’ phones. At the moment, 13% of smartphone owners conduct more than 20% of their shopping via mobile, while 4% do more than 60%. This is expected to grow, with 20% planning to shop more on their phones.

Encouragingly 93% of the respondents who tried m-commerce would shop on their mobiles again. With respondents stating that convenient browsing and 24/7 access are key benefits to their m-commerce experience.

Fifty-five percent of those who shopped online from their phones did this outside the home, and 28% are doing m-commerce during times when they would have been otherwise inaccessible to retailers; during lunch breaks, while waiting for something, or on transport.

The fact that 45% shop via mobile from home should be no shock to iPhone and iPad users, after all it’s much easier to grab your always on smartphone to browse than a laptop that needs to boot up etc.

Apps are important to the users of M-commerce. Over a quarter (27%) of smartphone users have downloaded shopping apps for their phones, and 56% of this segment have used these apps to make a purchase. This shows the value of the app audience for retailers.

Among the retailers that people would like to see apps for, Boots, M&S and Superdrug were the most popular choices.

The top five desired features of shopping apps were: alerts for sales or offers, PayPal checkout, alerts for new stock, the ability to purchase through the app, and being able to browse the entire range.

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