Two-thirds of smartphone owners shop on their devices, according to a recent survey, underscoring the rise of mobile purchasing.
The study, conducted by data research and analysis firm comScore, found most smartphone owners browsed and bought with their mobile device during the month of September, with digital media being the most popular products purchased.
Mobile use has increased dramatically in recent years, with the number of cell phones surpassing the population in the U.S. And people do much more than talk on their phones, using them to purchase and view entertainment.
A variety of television shows, movies, games, music and e-books are available for smartphone users to buy and download, and comScore’s results reinforce their appeal, showing nearly half of mobile shoppers surveyed bought digital media.
The survey also revealed many used their smartphones to search “daily deal” sites for special discounts. Sites like Groupon and Living Social cater to mobile users, offering a deal for a limited time that must be purchased online, and provide coupons and vouchers directly to their mobile phones.
More deal sites are expected to crop up to serve different customer niches, such as mothers, sports enthusiasts, or local restaurant fans, as mobile shopping continues to increase.
Mobile devices are also transforming the in-store shopping experience. One in three mobile shoppers surveyed by comScore used their phones to access real-time information while shopping in a brick-and-mortar store, comparing prices, looking for coupons, snapping photos of products or finding retail locations.
This holiday season, stores are integrating mobile devices and apps on the sales floor, aiming to better serve customers and help them avoid chaotic holiday shopping experiences and long checkout lines.
Some stores, such as Urban Outfitters, arm sales staff with mobile devices equipped with special scanning technology allowing people to purchase items right on the sales floor, avoiding the checkout area entirely.
As mobile shopping continues to grow, retailers will likely find more ways to lure smartphone users into stores and integrate apps with the browsing and purchasing experience to capitalize on the trend.
Overall, though, people shop most frequently on their smartphones from the comfort of their own home. Nearly 60 percent of people surveyed shopped from their living rooms, choosing their mobile phone over their computer as a convenient way to make purchases.
The rise in mobile payment options and the widespread use of smartphones are driving the mobile shopping trend, and as it gets easier for people to locate and pay for items with s single click or tap, mobile devices are expected to continue to make even more of a mark on the retail landscape.