One in Five Americans Using Mobile E-Commerce

Joe D

According to a study published in May 2010 by the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) and LuthResearch.com, which monitored the behaviors and opinions of U.S. adult consumers with regard to mobile marketing, approximately 1 in 5 adult Americans that own mobile phones are now using their phones to conduct mobile commerce.

M-commerce, as it is now being called by industry professionals, has evolved and is now being defined as a one or two way exchange of values, as facilitated by a mobile e-device such as a mobile phone, via wireless communication networks and technologies. As an industry standard, this brand new definition helps to better shape and define the scope of m-commerce and the services rendered via mobile devices. Using a terminology consistent within the industry is an important first step toward building a solid baseline for m-commerce within the United States.

The May 2010 results came from a survey which included over 1,000 American adults, and was conducted in mid-April. The consumers were asked questions regarding their mobile device usage and experiences with m-commerce such as how they paid for their transactions; which mobile media services were used to conduct their transactions; the types of transactions made in the most recent 30-day period; the quality of their experience with m-commerce as well as their interest in conducting future transactions in the following 12-month period.

The results of the survey revealed that nearly 17% of respondents used their mobile phones to make purchases for virtual products, such as ring tones, applications and other mobile Web-based products. 6% of respondents stated that they received discounts and/or coupons via their mobile devices, while another 6% used their mobile phones to purchase actual physical goods. It is this last 6% of respondents that is the most telling of the penetration of m-commerce into the American market, with consumers purchasing more than just digital content via these mobile devices.

Other data collected during the study revealed that smartphone users were more likely to make m-commerce purchases than people who owned other types of phones, with over 50% of iPhone owners and 34% of Blackberry users purchasing content for their smartphones via mobile services. Interestingly enough, over 50% of purchases made via mobile devices were made directly through a mobile phone service carrier, and over 40% were paid for using a credit or bank card.

The largest demographic of m-commerce consumers over every other age group surveyed was of adults between the ages of 25 and 34, with respondents from all categories and age groups stating that they considered their purchases made via their mobile devices to be “trustworthy and secure.” The results of this survey are huge for the mobile, e-commerce or m-commerce, industry, revealing that mobile consumers are ready to branch out and make purchases in other areas beyond virtual or application/content sales. This shows that not only is m-commerce reaching more consumers than ever before, but that the quality of the mobile consumer experience and the confidence within the industry is growing as well.

Due to these increases it can be expected that the capacity and features offered via mobile phones and other mobile devices will improve and increase as well, allowing consumers to easily purchase content and products via m-commerce channels. This makes for a real opportunity for marketers to take advantage of this growing interest through the offering of mobile-only deals, coupons, discounts and other means of engaging target consumers via these devices.

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