Not surprisingly, mobile commerce’s popularity is most apparent with younger consumers right now, as older shoppers seem hesitant to learn about and take advantage of the ever-growing number of shopping tools available to them with smart phone technology, according to a recently released study.
The study was unveiled by Art Technology Group Inc., a mobile and e-commerce technology and services provider, and commissioned by the online research firm MarketTools.
More than 1,000 U.S. consumers 18 and up were polled for the study during July of this year, answering questions about their own mobile shopping habits from general research to actual transactions using their smart phones.
The results largely echo a theme we tend to see any time a new technology or technological movement is introduced to the public—that younger, more tech-savvy individuals are quicker to flock to the new “it” thing than their older counterparts.
Across the entire pool of individuals polled, 27 percent said they had used a mobile phone for a shopping related activity such as comparing prices, finding coupons, reading reviews or ratings and receiving promotional text messages from retailers. Among consumers in the 18-34 age group though, that number jumped to 46 percent.
The contrasts in m-commerce preferences across various age groups is just as pronounced when it comes to actually making purchases. In this area, 41 percent of those in the 18-34 demographic have made at least one purchase with their mobile phones, far and away the most active age group. The next highest rate was 26 percent among consumers ages 35-44, while only 18 percent of those 45-54 and 9 percent of those 55 and over had made a purchase on their mobile phone.
Of course, we’ve seen data before that echoes what’s being said here. Those 18-34 certainly have the most experience in using mobile phone for more than just making calls and this demographic is also one of the most active when it comes to online shopping as well. They’re usually more likely to be attracted to the expanded tools and applications that today’s coolest smart phones offer, so it makes sense that they’re using m-commerce more than anyone else.
The real question is, what kind of mobile shopping activities are they doing? According to the study:
–20 percent are comparing prices among retail stores;
–19 percent are searching for coupons;
–12 percent are seeking reviews/ratings while in-store, while another 12 percent are browsing through a retailer’s inventory with a mobile application;
–10 percent are using a GPS device to find a store;
–9 percent are using mobile bar codes to research products;
–8 percent are receiving promotional/sale text messages
It will only be a matter of time before m-commerce usage in those older age groups is on the rise. But for now, it’s safe to say that retailers and phone manufacturers will continue developing and marketing towards a younger customer base because that’s where the activity is.
Leave us your thoughts and comments!