What Do Smartphone Users Buy on Their Devices? - eMarketer

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What Do Smartphone Users Buy on Their Devices?

Apparel and groceries top many shoppers’ lists

October 6, 2016 | Retail & Ecommerce

Smartphone users in different countries have different mobile shopping habits. Depending on location, different product categories might be more common purchases—and smartphone purchasing may be more common overall.

Smartphone Users in Select Countries Who Purchase Products via Smartphone, by Category, March 2016 (% of respondents)

In March 2016, xAd and Millward Brown surveyed 5,048 adult smartphone users worldwide about their shopping preferences.

Respondents in the US (58%) and UK (64%) were most likely to say they buy clothing and apparel on their smartphone, with groceries in second place—a close second in the US, but a bit more distant in the UK. On the flip side, smartphone users were least likely to buy sports and leisure products on their phones.

In China and Japan, groceries were the No. 1 category, followed by clothing. In Germany, meanwhile, respondents were most likely to say they bought electronics via smartphone, followed by, again, clothing.

It does appear though that US consumers are beginning to buy more groceries digitally than they have in the past. In another study from Adobe, spending on online purchases from baked goods to vegetables in July 2016 grew more than 100-fold over the same time last year.

Perhaps the biggest geographic difference in the xAd and Millward Brown survey, though, was in overall likelihood of purchasing in any of the categories. In China, all but the two least popular categories were at least as likely to be purchased as the most popular category in the US. Smartphone users in China were more likely to purchase in each of three categories—groceries, apparel and home goods—than respondents anywhere else.


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