Majority of Mobile Consumers Use Devices to Buy Physical Goods

Peter Roesler, President - Web Marketing Pros

By Peter Roesler

President, Web Marketing Pros

web3.0_the_mobile_eraIt’s been clear to most business owners and marketers that mobile marketing is useful for selling things online. Many people assume that the majority of these purchases are for digital things like apps, music, games, movies and other forms of digital content for the device. However, a recent study showed that more and more consumers are using their mobile devices to buy more physical goods.

According to Javelin’s ‘Mobile-Online Retail Payments Forecast 2015’, physical items are the most common things bought on mobile devices. Physical goods, like the clothing from online retailers or ordering for in-store pickup, are now the most common mobile purchase, 51 percent of mobile users say they use their mobile device to buy physical goods.

For the sake of comparison, 38 percent of mobile users are buying music and the same percentage said the same of games. Slightly less (37%) said they used mobile commerce to buy apps. The increase in physical -goods over digital-goods purchases is an indication of consumers’ growing comfort with the mobile phone as a buying channel.

This change in the nature of mobile commerce is based on a younger generation who are driving the change. The Javelin study found that younger consumers are more active purchasers. They account for 18 percent of mobile app and browser purchasers, compared to 12 percent of all consumers. Consumers aged 25 to 34 years accounted for one in three (34%) app purchasers compared to one in five (21%) of all consumers.

“As buy buttons and one-click shopping experiences gain in popularity, consumers are coming to expect low-friction checkout experiences. Limiting the steps involved in checkout is critical to meet consumer expectations,” said Daniel Van Dyke, research specialist at Javelin.

The researchers also noted that the in the age of Apple Pay and other NFC mobile payment systems, traditional mobile commerce methods are still the method of choice for most consumers. According to the report, for every dollar spent through mobile proximity payments, $19 is spent through mobile browsers and apps.

In fact, mobile commerce has seen tremendous growth during the last couple of years. Javelin reported that the total volume of mobile online retail payments has more than tripled over the last two years.

Mobile commerce is projected to grow from $75.8 billion to $217.4 billion at a CAGR of 23 percent within four years. For more recent data, mobile online retail commerce is projected to have grown $17.8 billion during 2014, and it’s estimated that it will reach $93.6 billion this year.

This research shows that mobile marketing is important for retailers. As popular as games and apps are on mobile devices, more consumers are using their devices for physical goods. Online and in-store retailers can increase their revenue by embracing mobile marketing and mobile commerce.

For more recent information about the power of mobile, read this article on the effects of Google’s recent algorithm update.

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