Mobile Web Advantage #4: Mobile Consumers Turn to Their Phones When They’re Looking for Ways to Spend Their Money

August 31st, 2011 by

This marks the halfway point in our weekly  Mobile Web Advantage series. In this post we will discuss the increasingly important role that mobile devices play in consumers’ multichannel shopping experience.

First, consumers are spending a lot of time browsing on their mobile phones. 1 in 5 mobile users is accessing the mobile web every day — a number that is only expected to increase. This trend is largely driven by increased smartphone penetration — according to Google, half of US adults will be carrying a smartphone by year end.

Second, consumers want convenience, which is nothing new, but when combined with the ubiquity of a cell phone, it becomes an important driver of increased mobile shopping behavior. A recent study done by Google finds that 70% of US consumers use a smartphone while in the store, 54% use their smartphones to find a retailer, and 49% use a smartphone to compare prices, all indicators that the shopper is using their cell phones WHILE SHOPPING, or at very least, when they don’t have access to their PC’s.

Third, the concept of paying for goods and services via cell phone is becoming both more well-known and more accepted. In the US, sales volume from mobile shopping is expected to reach $9 billion this year, a 275% increase from 2010’s figure of $2.4 billion. In fact, 67% of mobile consumers used their phone to make a purchase during February and March. And they are not just buying ringtones and Angry Birds. 1 out of 3 US consumers is buying non-digital goods via a mobile phone. InMobi found that 19% of consumers buy electronics via their mobile phone, 15% buy apparel, 13% entertainment tickets, and 12% travel. Furthermore, mobile shopping is no longer limited to the young and the Digerati.

Although using mobile phones for purchases is rapidly growing, true m-commerce hasn’t hit mainstream, yet, due to consumer nervousness surrounding security. And, it probably doesn’t instill much confidence that many retail and branded mobile websites are either very primitive looking or nonexistent… The security issue is similar to the hesitation we experienced in the early days of online payments. As we can see, innovation ensued, the industry evolved, and online shopping is now as familiar as brushing one’s teeth, with 89% of US consumers preferring shopping online to in-store. This issue will resolve itself as continued innovation chips away at consumers’ fears. However, providing consumers with a positive mobile experience is important NOW, not 5 years down the road — because smartphones already play an integral part in today’s multichannel shopping experience. A seasoned partner with mobile strategy, technology and managed services capabilities, such as Trilibis, will help you get your mobile presence in-order, quickly. And he will also help you stay relevant as the multichannel shopping experience evolves.

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