In a new report, “Digital Payments in the U.S.: Consumer Usage, Wallets and P2P,” market research firm Packaged Facts indicated that the percentage of American adult consumers reporting mobile Internet activity within 30 days prior reached 52% during 2017, up about 50% in just four years. But it indicated that different demographic groups are taking different approaches to m-commerce.
Purchase-related mobile activity grew at an average of 28% annually, which suggests that mobile access is translating quickly to mobile commerce, Packaged Facts maintained.
However, the adoption of mobile commence is somewhat uneven. Smartphone ownership is now more evenly spread across all age groups except for seniors over age 75. Similarly, the age gap separating online purchasing behavior has narrowed over time, although online purchasing among ages 25 to 44 is at least 20% more likely than average.
However, mobile-related behavior remains critically differentiated by age, with trends suggesting that usage barriers remain among older adults and that mobile purchasing among Millennials ages 18 to 24 is running counter to industry expectations. Adults age 25 to 44 are at least 40% more likely than average to have made a mobile purchase during 2017. Although mobile purchasing generally was almost three times more prevalent in 2017 than in 2013, the study suggested the proportional growth of mobile shopping among 18 to 24 year olds was slower than that of other age groups.
Although mobile shopping has a long way to catch up to overall online shopping, Packaged Facts emphasized that the gap is closing. In 2017, 39% of online purchasers reported making a mobile purchase, up from less than 20% in 2013. A greater proportion of consumers banked and conducted shopping research on a mobile device.
Trends suggest that mobile checkout programs that make the purchase experience simple and seamless will benefit retailers.
“The percentage of adults who prefer mobile Internet access over computer-based access has continued to grow,” said David Sprinkle, research director for Packaged Facts. “The question now becomes how can the payments industry better translate this uptick into broader consumer interest in making in-store mobile payments.”