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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : April 13, 2011

Mobile purchases by older users triples in less than 2 years

Mobile commerce is moving into the mainstream as growth among older age groups almost triples in less than two years, according to a new mobile commerce trends survey from Oracle and ATG.

by Helen Leggatt

smartphone image.jpgMobile is changing the retail landscape.

The number of US consumers that have made a purchase via a mobile device has risen from 23% in July 2010 to 29% at the end of 2010, reveals the Oracle/ATG Mobile Trends survey (.pdf).

Furthermore, while the highest percentage of those making mobile purchases falls within the 18-34 year old segment (40%), the growth rate among 35-54 year old users has almost tripled within the last two years. Over a quarter (27%) of 34-54 year old consumers had made a purchase as of December 2010, up 145% from just 11% 13 months previous.

"It's surprising that the uptick in customer savvyness and reliance on mobile phones for purchasing services is actually growing at a faster rate for the older generation relative to the younger generation," said Arturo Pereyra, marketing and business development director at Oracle.

Consumers may be standing in your store aisle, but are they looking at your products? Perhaps not. The survey revealed that more consumers than ever are also using their devices to browse or research products while in a physical store - 48% now compared with 37% in July 2010. Again, younger demographics are more likely to do so (60% of adults ages 18-34) than older age groups (44% for ages 35-54 and 36% for age 55 and older).

"Consumers are looking and checking, whether it's Amazon or a direct competitor; retailers can't keep competitors outside of their stores," said Kelly O'Neill, product strategy director, Oracle retail.

"Retailers need to understand their value proposition, whether it's all about price or giving consumers other reasons to stay loyal. If they don't provide the information consumers are looking for, like ratings and reviews and additional product information, then consumers will get it elsewhere."

Now, more than ever, marketers need to focus on optimizing the mobile experience. Recent research from Tealeaf found that a whopping 84% of mobile phone users who have conducted a transaction via their mobile device have come up against a problem ranging from error messages to confusing information.

Tags: m-commerce, mobile commerce, mobile device, online shopping, retail, smartphone use

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