They don’t call it the “Crackberry” for nothing. I am constantly on my phone, and not just the typical, waiting in line or playing backseat driver times. Sometimes I catch myself replying to an email on my phone while I am sitting in from of my computer with my desktop email open. I blame the fact that my phone notifies me of absolutely every little type of communication sent my way. It catches my attention quicker than my desktop computer can. The more you use something the more you become reliant on it. My smartphone is quickly becoming my go-to device for daily internet activities. And one of my favorite activities is shopping. According to recent studies, I am not the only one browsing my phone for the latest deals and newest arrivals.
Advertising Age reports that the number of online shoppers making a purchase from their phones increased more than five-fold this season to 11%. But significantly more than that, 33% of respondents in a survey conducted by ForeSee Results said they had used their phone to access a retailer’s site, many for the purpose of comparing prices or products.
Likewise, barcode scanning and check-ins continued to ramp up over the holidays. ScanBuy, mobile barcode solution provider, estimates that between 30% and 40% of all smartphone users have downloaded a barcode-scanning app.
So, who’s utilizing m-commerce? According to a recent study by the Princeton Survey Research Associates for the Pew Research Center‘s Internet and American Life project, 95% of 18- to 29-year-olds who own cell phones send or receive text messages while 52% send emails, and 20% said they have purchased items through their phones.
But it’s not just for the kids. Pew found that adults aged 30 to 49 are among the fastest-growing group using mobile-data applications. Six of every 10 adults said they use their phones to access the Internet, a 12% increase from a 2009 survey. About 11% said they had used their phone to make a purchase. Some 10% use their phones to access their Twitter or Facebook accounts. Nearly 65% this year said they research promotions on their phones while another 42% said they would browse for products.
That’s a lot of numbers! Basically, all these statistics mean that if you are a retailer and don’t have a mobile presence you are leaving money on the table. If you are in the advertising business, you need to start re-targeting people where they shop. And if you are a web development company, you should make sure that when you design sites you think about how they will look on a mobile phone.
Up next: Best mobile apps and sites for shopping.