Europe Sees Sharp Rise in Shopping by Mobile

More people in Europe are using their mobile devices to buy consumer goods than ever before, with clothing and electronics the most popular purchases.

The findings from the annual ING International Survey Mobile Banking 2016 report reveal that two thirds (66%) of people in Europe with a smartphone or tablet now use it to make purchases – up from 58% in 2015.

The increase in mobile banking and ease of ‘one-click ordering’ – which saves users’ payment details – are possible factors in this rise. The study found that 82% of people who bank by smartphone or tablet are also using their device for retail therapy, while 50% of mobile shoppers admit they are more likely to return to an online retailer that already holds their details.

Whos leading the way?

Turkey (88%), Italy (69%) and Poland (69%) are the European countries with the largest shares of mobile shoppers, but France and the Netherlands are seeing the fastest growth – the share of mobile device owners in these countries who use them to make purchases has increased 16 percentage points year-on-year from 2015 to 2016.

Across the Atlantic, the USA is experiencing similarly fast growth (up 16 percentage points to 74%), while inAustralia the uptake of mobile shopping increased just six percentage points in the year, to 49%.

Mobile shopping is most popular among younger mobile users, but year-on-year growth can be seen across all age groups. The share of 18-24 year olds using their smartphone or tablet to shop now stands at 86%, up from 72% in 2015 – and the 25-34 and 45-54 age brackets have both seen an 11 percentage point increase. Men appear slightly more likely than women to shop by mobile device.

What are people buying?

Mobile purchases across Europe over the last 12 months have been dominated by clothing (43%) and electronics (37%). But there is variation between countries.

The convenience of ordering home-delivered meals on the go means one in five people in Europe (19%) are now using their mobile device to buy takeaways. Turkey, home to the world’s largest home-delivered meal ordering platform Yemek Sepeti, is where the trend is most prevalent (41%).

With similar companies, like JustEat and Deliveroo, now available in many cities across Europe, appetite in countries like the UK (21%) and Spain (21%) shows little sign of slowing down.

A higher share of mobile device owners in the UK (26%) buy music via their mobile than in any other European nation, and the UK and Turkey (both 31%) have the largest shares who use their smartphone or tablet to buy groceries. Elsewhere, mobile device owners in Luxembourg and Italy (27%) are more likely to book a holiday from their smartphone or tablet than their European neighbours.

Fleur Doidge, writer/editor at ING eZonomics, which produced the report, said: “The mobile revolution is in full force and the proportion of people shopping on their mobile device for everyday goods is rising at an impressive rate. As more people use their phone to manage their finances, were seeing more people using them for spending too. Convenience is a big factor, and Europe is embracing this ability to shop anytime, anywhere.

“Technology is changing the way we shop and certainly has its advantages for people with busy lives but to keep the bank balance in check, its important to search for the best deals, rather than buy on impulse.

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