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Consumers Shopping More on Mobile Devices

10 Jul, 2013 By: Doug McPherson

NEW YORK – In the first quarter of 2013, 84 percent of U.S. mobile consumers used their mobile devices to shop – a 5-percent jump from the year-earlier period, Nielsen reports. What’s more: more than a quarter of mobile shoppers say they now buy more frequently via mobile than on their PCs.

Other findings from Nielsen’s first-quarter “Mobile Shopping Report” noted that women are more likely to purchase physical goods than men. Also, mobile shoppers skew younger and more affluent than the general population. Most (57 percent) are under 45 years old and 34 percent are under 34, up from 29 percent from a year ago. The share of mobile shoppers in the 25-34 age segment has increased the most in the last year, to 28 percent from 24 percent.

Related to income, Nielsen says wealthier consumers tend to be more active shoppers on devices, with 35 percent earning more than $100,000. The study also pointed out that the share with household incomes below $50,000 has grown the most, up eight percentage points to 21 percent from a year ago.

Overall, mobile shoppers with lower and middle incomes made up more than half of the total. Analysts attribute the growth of mobile shopping to the greater availability of lower cost smartphones and tablets in the past year and wider device adoption overall.

Pew Research Center estimated last month that 56 percent of American adults own a smartphone and 34 percent have a tablet. Tablet penetration has risen from just 3 percent in May 2010, while smartphone adoption is up from 35 percent two years ago.

But research also says people favor tablets over phones for M-commerce. Nearly a third (30 percent) of U.S. tablet owners have made a purchase on their devices, compared to only 13 percent of mobile phone users, according to a Forrester study released in May. Overall, M-commerce sales increased 31 percent in the first quarter, accounting for 17.4 percent of total online sales, up from 13.3 percent a year ago, per IBM’s online retail index study.

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