Research Looks at Mobile Shopping

David Murphy

Online market research firm Lightspeed Research has released the results of a survey of almost 1,000 Britons to evaluate the likely take-up of shopping on the mobile web. The survey found that just under one fifth (17%) would be willing to buy products and services through their phone, with men more in favour of the idea (22% versus 12% of women surveyed). This figure was higher than respondents in France (9%) but lower than in Germany (25%).
Lightspeed says that as with online retail, which took time to increase in popularity, the research suggests there is a good basis for the growth of shopping through mobiles, especially as more retailers begin to offer the service.
Lightspeed surveyed 998 respondents from the Lightspeed Research UK online panel between 10 and 14 April 2008. Of those who were receptive to the idea of shopping from their mobile handsets, more than three quarters of respondents said they would shop with well-known high street and online retailers. The concept of Any company offering great prices was attractive to only 23% of respondents.
One of the advantages of shopping from a mobile phone is the ability to make purchases at any time and in any place. This benefit is reflected in the types of products and services respondents said they would buy in this way. Two of the top three choices were on-the-go type products, with film, theatre and events tickets coming in second and travel tickets the third choice, behind  DVDs and CDs, which topped the list at 73%. Books and travel came in at 55%, with flowers at 48%. Clothes, food and toiletries were the least popular choices.
This research suggests that the mobile phone could become a viable way for retailers to reach their customers, says David Day, CEO Europe at Lightspeed Research. The 24/7 nature of the mobile phone, a device that many people have with them all the time, and the increase in Internet-ready phones, offers a real opportunity for retailers to match their offer to the products and services customers may want to buy in this way.