9 Million People Have Made Purchases On Mobiles

    June 13, 2008

Making purchases using mobile devices such as cell phones is increasing in the U.S. with 9 million mobile subscribers saying they have used their mobile to pay for goods or services and nearly half (49%) saying they plan to try mobile commerce in the future according to a new report from Nielsen.

Men were found to be more likely then women to use their mobile phone for commerce with 4.9 million men doing so and 4.3 million women making a purchase using their mobile phone.

The most likely age group to make a purchase using cell phones were those between the ages of 25 to 34. Three million adults in the 25 to 34 age category, or 5.4 percent, have made a purchase, compared to 3.6 percent of all mobile subscribers.

Out of the 40 million users of the mobile web in April, 5 million visited mobile shopping and auction sites, an increase of 73 percent from April 2007, when 2.9 mobile users did the same. eBay was the most popular shopping site on the mobile Web, with 3.4 million unique visitors in April.

Buying items through text messaging is also increasing. Some services allow users to send text messages to a phone number enabling charges to appear on their mobile phone bills. Already, 6.5 million mobile users have used text messaging to purchase an item.

"For many of the millions of consumers who are already shopping online or over landline phones, mobile commerce is an obvious and useful extension of that opportunity," said Nic Covey, director of insights at Nielsen Mobile.

Security was found to be the main reason why mobile users had not tried mobile commerce. Forty-one percent cited security as their biggest concern.

Other reasons include being charged for airtime (23%), and concern over the transaction being completed (21%).

"As with other forms of electronic commerce, US consumers need proof that mobile transactions will be a safe, affordable and efficient complement to other modes of shopping," said Covey.