Taking pictures of products in stores turns out to be the most popular thing that Western Europeans do with their smartphones during shopping according to new data from comScore. The reason for this is fairly clear: people are sending pictures to friends and family for purchase advice.
In the same vein, Europeans also call or text friends and family about products as well.
US audiences do much the same thing with their smartphones in stores, although the order of their activities is somewhat different:
- Search for coupons or offers
- Price comparisons
- Make and use shopping lists
- Seek/look at product reviews and related information
- Send pictures to friends/family re their opinions
- Search for nearby stores offering same product
- Ask product-related questions or post pictures on social networks
- Buy the product through the phone
Source: Opus Research n=1,050 US smartphone owners (September 2013)
Different surveys often will show slightly different results in terms of the order of activities. But the top three in-store smartphone actions across the board (in the US) tend to be: compare prices, look at product reviews and look for deals/coupons.
Roughly one out of seven European smartphone shoppers (14.6 percent) has bought something via the phone in August according to comScore. Accordingly the number of people in Western Europe who’ve made an “m-commerce” purchase now stands at 22.8 million.
There are roughly 140 million smartphones across Western Europe (between 53 percent and 66 percent penetration depending on the country) according to Q1 2013 numbers from comScore. Those figures are undoubtedly higher now.
The top m-commerce purchase categories in Europe were the following according to the comScore data:
- Clothing or accessories
- Consumer electronics/household appliances
- Personal care or hygiene products
ComScore previously reported that m-commerce was considerably higher on smartphones than on tablets (in the US). That may be true in terms of absolute transactions given the fact that there are more smartphones. Those data contradict other findings that show tablets being much more popular for e-commerce. Regardless, most people do not routinely conduct e-commerce on smartphones. This is verified by loads of “conversion” data put out by various platforms and agencies.
As the data above indicate smartphones are “shopping assistants” used primarily to collect product information and gain feedback. Offline purchases will continue to be dominant well into the foreseeable future. Where it gets a bit murky and harder to categorize is when people start using smartphones to make offline purchases in stores.
That day is coming in the not-too-distant future.