Nearly Half of Smartphone Users Utilize Devices to Shop

Aug 7, 2012 16:15:51Posted by John Skorick, MyAKA Founder & CEO

Nearly Half of Smartphone Users Utilize Devices to Shop

A recent report issued by consumer research firm Nielsen showed nearly half of smartphone owners have used their mobile device to shop for something. This demonstrates an expansion from previous studies that showed smartphones were used by the majority to simply compare prices at different stores.

The researchers determined how often people used their cell phones to shop by surveying more than 5,000 Android and iOS users. 

The report showed 47 percent of smartphone owners utilized shopping applications. In total, 45 million smartphone owners accessed apps in the Shopping/Commerce category, and the shoppers used the apps an average of 17 times throughout June.

The top two mobile applications in June were eBay with 13 million users and Amazon with 12 million users. The most popular online shopping applications after eBay and Amazon included Groupon, Shopkick, LivingSocial, Walgreens, Target, RedLaser, Out of Milk Shopping List and SavingStar Grocery eCoupons.

"Retailers are finding that consumers are willing to use smartphone apps to enhance their shopping experience, and this data shows usage of shopping apps is growing," said Don Kellogg, Director of Telecom Insights at Nielsen. "As more Americans use their smartphones while shopping and making purchases directly through apps, retailers should consider personalizing their targeted offerings around the needs of individual consumers."

Mobile security has been a hot topic as of late, as a number of consumers are worried that their personal information will be accessed in the event their mobile device was stolen or lost. However, with people shopping on their phones and using them for business purposes, tech giants are creating safer and more secure applications. For instance, Google Wallet recently announced it will accept all major credit and debit cards, and Google promises consumers' information is safe, according to ZDNet.

"The Google Wallet app now stores your payment cards on highly secure Google servers, instead of in the secure storage area on your phone," Robin Dua, Head of Product Management for Google Wallet, wrote in a blog post. "A wallet ID [virtual card number] is stored in the secure storage area of the phone, and this is used to facilitate transactions at the point of sale. Google instantly charges your selected credit or debit card."