Mobile Shopping Drives Impulse Buys

The growth in smartphone usage is driving ‘impulse purchases’, according to a new Europe-wide study of mobile usage.

More than 139.5 million Europeans now regularly shop via mobile phone, with 42 per cent of these saying that they regularly buy ‘on impulse’, compared to just 25 per cent of non-mobile adopters.

Clothing tops mobile shoppers’ hit list, accounting for 23 per cent of items purchased, closely followed by electronics (21 per cent), games (12 per cent), holidays (11 per cent), music (11 per cent) and groceries (11 per cent).

British consumers have the greatest appetite for impulse buying, although other countries have been quicker to embrace mobile technology, according to the study from global financial group ING.

The Netherlands is Europe’s most advanced nation when it comes to mobile banking, with almost half (47 per cent) banking on their smartphone, compared to almost a third (31 per cent) of Britons and fewer than one in five (17 per cent) in France.

The growing enthusiasm for mobile money management is also contributing to a move away from physical cash across Europe, according to the study[1].

More people are using alternatives to cash to make purchases with nearly half (49 per cent) of Europeans saying they use physical cash less often then they did 12 months ago and 40 per cent claiming they rarely use it. The trend looks set to continue with almost half (45 per cent) of consumers predicting that they will use less cash in the next 12 months as Europeans move towards a more cashless society.

ING Senior Economist Ian Bright commented: “Mobile banking is becoming more common across Europe and more people are prepared to pay for things using cashless methods.

“In terms of long-term economic trends, the growth of smartphone use and acceptance of technology is likely to hasten the growth of cashless payments.”


[1] Financial Empowerment in the Digital Age conducted by Ipsos surveyed 12,403 people using internet-based polling in Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Spain, Turkey, the UK.