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We’ve seen a number of research projects and studies which show that mobile traffic and search volumes are likely to overtake desktop in the next 12 months, however the same can’t be said for sales and conversions through mobile devices.

Instead consumers are increasingly using smartphones for research and price checking, before ultimately making a purchase on desktop or tablet.

We investigated the reasons behind this disparity as part of our new Mobile Commerce Compendium, with the data showing that two-thirds (64%) of smartphone owners who don’t use mobile commerce simply prefer shopping online using a desktop or tablet.

The second most-common reason proved to be difficulties with the small screen size (41%), while 39% said they are concerned about security on their phone.

Interestingly, 6% of respondents still believe that mobile websites don’t offer the same product range as desktop sites.

Why haven’t you bought anything online using your smartphone?

The data comes from a Toluna survey of 1,000 UK consumers, the full results of which are included in our new Mobile Commerce Compendium.

It contains tips and advice on m-commerce, mobile search, and how mobile can be used in-store and as part of a broader multichannel strategy.

What do people buy using mobile?

The data showed that around half (49%) of consumers had bought something using their device in the previous six months, with a majority of this group (54%) spending fewer than £50 in total.

This tallies with results from a separate question which show that inexpensive consumer goods are the most frequently purchased items through mobile commerce.

Books (43%) and clothes (42%) proved to be the most common items purchased through mobile commerce, closely followed by clothes (42%) and music (40%). 

This could possibly be a reflection of Amazon’s strength in mobile commerce, as shoppers can easily turn to its app to buy books and music with just a few clicks.

Furniture proved to be the least popular among the available options with just 7% of mobile shoppers having bought from this product category.

What type of products did you shop for using your smartphone?

David Moth

Published 28 June, 2013 by David Moth @ Econsultancy

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

1704 more posts from this author

Comments (8)

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Prefer shopping online shopping using a desk top computer or tablet is hardly a reason but a preference. Otherwise this is a good analysis.

I'd like to share a video infographic to compare it with m-commerce in China: http://www.advangent.com/2013/05/23/video-infographic-china-m-commerce-market-research-report/

almost 4 years ago



However,this is only a beginning,as in the past several years,China's international brand,Sony Mobile localization is no longer just changed the appearance.

almost 4 years ago

Tim Cawsey

Tim Cawsey, Head of Branding & Content at Gemalto

Is there any further details on why consumers think it is less secure than on a computer or tablet?

almost 4 years ago


Elliot Jones

Really, we spend hours and hours preaching that we need to meet the needs of the audience and by trying to force them to do something they don't want to we're only going to lose them... and yet everyone is still trying to tackle the 'buy on your phone' conundrum.

Even the Amazon experience is tricky and as for using your phone to buy a sofa, I'm surprised it's as high as 7%.

Don't you think businesses should take heed and make sites perfect for the audience needs, don't try forcing them to do something that they don't want to - and certainly don't necessarily expect them to change their opinions any time soon...

almost 4 years ago



It's interesting isn't it that mobile commerce hasn't taken off? I think the legacy systems which often would limit the type of inventory being displayed has done m commerce a disservice. Apps take things to a different level but you have to open it when a browser based view or a search based view is still a very natural reaction when you first think of something and happen to only have your phone available as a device.
And then there are speed issues with phones in terms of responsiveness and data speeds. But it's definitely the space to move into as technology improves in that area.

almost 4 years ago

Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton, Editor in Chief at ClickZ Global

@Tim We didn't ask that question. There were already ten questions in the survey and there are only so many you can ask.

If it helps, the older age groups tended to be more wary of mobile shopping.

I think a lot of this is due to the relative novelty of mobile commerce, though I imagine there is still a proportion who would provide the same answer when asked about desktop.

almost 4 years ago

Tim Cawsey

Tim Cawsey, Head of Branding & Content at Gemalto

Thanks Graham, I imagine the age difference is one explanation and the mobile novelty factor also comes into play.

In a few years time I reckon we'll look back on this just like the start of the web and consumers and businesses were trying to work out what to do with this "Internet" thing and mobile commerce will be second nature.

almost 4 years ago


Yigal Carmy, Co-Founder, Co-CEO at http://www.justdo.mobi/

Interesting, but none of this is new.
I, for one, think the problem is in the user experience. Most, if not all mobile web sites I've seen have web-like user experience. They don't use swipe for navigation, use server-side search and page construction - probably because they were built by web-oriented CMS systems.
Once retail site for mobile will start to look and feel like mobile applications, we'll see the change.
My company have started building such solutions, you can check out our newest client - m.lamaloli.com.

over 3 years ago

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