Why go to the store? Shop on your smartphone like everyone else

Not too long ago, a very large sum of people were afraid to shop online due to fears of credit card theft and other reasons. Not only are most of us now comfortable with shopping online, we’re going on shopping sprees on our mobile devices more than ever, according to a new study from comScore.

The report suggests that mobile shopping is now going mainstream, stating 38 percent of smartphones owners have made at least one purchase using their handset.

Of all the types of shopping, buying digital content is the most popular among those who shop using their phone, as 47 percent of mobile shoppers buy music, eBooks, movies, shows, etc. 37 percent buy clothes or accessories — a statistic that caught me by surprise since you’d think people would actually want to see/try on clothes in person. Going down the line of popularity, other activities include buying entertainment tickets, daily deals, gift certificates, electronics, restaurant food, hotel rooms, physical books, car rentals, airplane tickets, flowers (right after a breakup via text message, I assume), sports or fitness gear, and auto services. In total, two-thirds of all smartphone owners made purchases using their phone in September.

Just as important as the number of smartphone owners who participate in mobile shopping is the number of stores willing to embrace it. On that topic, comScore Senior VP for mobile Mark Donovan comments:

“Considering there are currently 90 million smartphone owners in the U.S., retailers without a well-developed mobile strategy are not only missing a tremendous opportunity with these customers but also risk becoming obsolete in the minds of these digital omnivores.”

Luckily, quite a few stores are on board with the plan. Originally creating mobile-optimized versions of their websites, stores are now creating native smartphone apps, where the magic truly happens. eBay, for instance, recently indicated that 3 purchases were made using its mobile app every second in Q3 2011.

As for myself, I must admit I don’t do a whole lot of mobile shopping. When I do, it’s almost always for digital content like music and apps. If I see something worth buying on Amazon while I’m using my smartphone, I just wait until I get home to my laptop before buying it – old-fashioned, right?

[via comScore, image via Cult of Mac, photo via Shutterstock Christos Georghiou]

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