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Device users divided down the middle in terms of mobile shopping

June 15, 2010

42-16468632Twenty percent of consumers indicate they have bought something using their mobile device, according to a study by Retrevo.

That number was just 10 percent in Retrevo’s February 2010 study, showing just how fast mobile commerce is growing. Also, 27 percent of consumers said they have never purchased something from their mobile phone, but expected they would eventually.

“Whether you prefer to see the glass half empty or half full, cell phone owners are divided down the middle when it comes to using their phones for buying things,” said Andrew Einser, director of community and content at Retrevo, Sunnyvale, CA.

“The scales could tip as consumers discover new, fun and easy shopping apps on their mobile devices while retailers make consumers feel more secure about using their credit cards,” he said.

The Retrevo Pulse Report is an ongoing study of people and electronics from the consumer electronics shopping and review site

The data for this report came from a study of online individuals (non-Retrevo users) conducted by an independent panel.

The sample size was over 1,000 distributed across gender, age, income and location in the United States. Most responses have a confidence interval of 4 percent at a 95 percent confidence level.

A whopping 53 percent of consumers said they have never bought anything via their mobile device and never plan to.

Applications make everything so much easier and more fun, and that includes shopping.

Retrevo found that nearly 42 percent of those who have shopped with their phones said they have used applications to make purchases.

When Retrevo looked at gender and smartphone owners the company was not surprised to see male mobile shoppers outnumbering females and iPhone owners leading the pack.

The report finds that credit cards might be getting in the way.

Retailers need to make it easy for consumers to store their credit card information.

The report pointed out that retailers like Amazon have public SDKs that might take some of the friction out of online or mobile transactions.

If retailers can’t get the credit card out of the way, it is up to the wireless carriers.

In Japan, wireless carrier DoCoMo offers a mobile wallet with its handsets.

“Retailers will need to make consumers feel more comfortable about using credit cards with their phones or offer secure and easy alternatives to credit card purchases,” Mr. Eisner said. “Retailers should also be open to developing new payment methods through carriers like Verizon or other partners like Apple or Google.”

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Giselle Tsirulnik is senior editor at Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach her at

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