Mobile commerce is an exciting opportunity for online retailers. But there are many different mobile platforms, including smartphones, tablet devices and even mobile laptops. To help decide which of the platforms to focus on, merchants should first understand the habits of its users. One recent survey suggests that only a small percentage of smartphone users purchase goods from those devices.
A May 2010 study from Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, titled “Mobile Access 2010,” measured the various ways U.S. adults use their cell phones. Pew queried a group of 2,252 U.S. adults age 18 and older and found that 1,846 of them (82 percent) owned cell phones and were regular users. Of that group of 1,846, Pew asked about their non-voice cell phone habits. The results are striking.
The most common non-voice habit of cell phone users — at 76 percent — was taking a picture with their phone. As a close second, 72 percent used their phones for sending and receiving text messages. Accessing the Internet, sending and receiving email and playing games rounded out the most common habits at 38 percent, 34 percent and 34 percent, respectively. Surprisingly, purchasing products was a one of the least performed tasks. Only 11 percent of those surveyed had purchased goods on their cell phones.
Chart: Mobile Internet Usage Habits