Mobile shopping trends: 88% of global users engage in content and commerce


The way people consume media and shop on their mobile phones is changing rapidly on a global scale, with significant increases in mobile banking, research and the purchase of ‘real’ goods, according to a new study.


The MEF, the Global Community for Mobile Content and Commerce has announced the results of its annual Global Consumer Survey.

The report was carried out in partnership with On Device Research and reveals the behaviour of mobile media users from across the world, giving unprecedented data and intelligence into mobile engagement and purchasing habits.


The 10-country annual study reveals that nearly nine in ten (88 per cent) of the world’s mobile media users now engage in mobile content and commerce (up from 82 per cent in 2011). Mobile commerce is defined as anyone using a mobile phone for research, purchase or banking.

Andrew Bud, Global Chair MEF said: “MEF’s 2012 report shows how far mobile has come as a channel for both consumer engagement and entertainment. Across the world, mobile content and commerce is increasingly the most convenient way to discover, to choose and to buy. The data has profound implications for brands, retailers and financial institutions, as well as the content and entertainment industry. We cannot be complacent: the report also reveals that trust is still a significant barrier for consumers and the industry must collaboratively address that to sustain growth.”


Key findings include:

• The Mobile Market is Maturing: 80 per cent of all consumers use their phones for research, but among over 35s the number is 88 per cent. Similarly 55 per cent of people have purchased from their mobile but the figure is 64 per cent for over 35s.

• Significant Increases Come From Growth Markets: The biggest rises in mobile content and commerce are in growth markets, including Qatar (73 per cent in 2011 to 86 per cent in 2012), India (85 to 90 per cent) and South Africa (89 to 95 per cent). In contrast mature markets such as the UK have remained static at 91 per cent for 2011 and 2012

• The Growth Of ‘Physical’ Purchases: The lion’s share of mobile commerce is still centred on digital purchases rather than ‘real’ ones, however considerable growth is taking place in the ‘physical’ sector. In 2012, 54 per cent bought digital products, unchanged from 2011. But 31 per cent purchased physical[1] items in 2012 rising from 24 per cent in 2011.

• Mobile Research Is Booming & Changing The Way We Shop: The report reveals that 80 per cent of people now use their phone for research, up from 58 per cent in 2011, of which 69 per cent then went on to make a purchase via mobile.

• The Rise of Mobile Banking: 64 per cent of consumers now use their devices to conduct mobile banking (up from 57 per cent in 2011).

• Payment Via Card Has Taken Over From Operator Billing: 27 per cent of those surveyed used a card for m-commerce, against just 14 per cent making payments via the phone bill (not including purchasing airtime[2]).

• Convenience, Entertainment & Trust Are Key Motivators: Entertainment (25 per cent) and convenience (26 per cent) are the primary reasons for engaging in mobile commerce but trust is also important with 13 per cent citing ‘from a brand I know and trust’ as a key reason for purchasing via mobile. 35 per cent of respondents admit that concerns around trust are acting as a barrier to purchasing more from a phone.


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