The Week Online Archive
Mobile Commerce Grows And Grows
June 27, 2008: About 9.2 million mobile subscribers have used their cell phones to pay for goods or services, Nielsen Mobile reports. That's 3.6 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers -- but nearly half of subscribers who use text messaging, access the 'Net, or use other data features on a cell phone say it's likely that they'll use mobile commerce in the future.
Breaking it down, adults 25-34 are the most likely group to have bought something using their phone, at 5.4 percent, compared to 3.6 percent overall. And, as of now, men, at 5.4 percent, are a lot more likely than women, at 3.6 percent) to make a mobile buy.
So how are people making those buys? Much of the time, over mobile websites. Of the 40 million active mobile Web users, 5 million have visited a shopping or auction website (that's up 73 percent form April 2007). EBay, not surprisingly, is the most popular mobile shopping or auction destination.
And these mobile people are making purchases via text messaging -- that is, they're sending messages to a phone number or shortcode to have a purchase put on the mobile bill. Nielsen says 6.5 million Americans have made a purchase via text.
"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 Nielsen Mobile Director/Insights Nic Covey (cool title). "As more mobile commerce services become available and consumers develop a greater trust for phone-based transactions, we expect commerce to be an increasingly important part of the mobile experience next year and beyond."