Three-quarters of mobile users around the world have made recent purchases on smartphones or tablets, and nearly a quarter of them buy on mobile devices weekly, according to a recent IAB report. A survey of mobile users in 19 countries shows mobile ads and social media can trigger purchase interest and aid in product discovery. Also, mobile wallet users make mobile purchases more frequently than average mobile shoppers.

Mobile shopping and purchasing have become the norm across the globe, according to “Mobile Commerce: A Global Perspective,” an in-depth survey of mobile users from 19 countries around the world, released by the Interactive Advertising Bureau. Three-quarters (75%) of smartphone and tablet users said they have purchased a product or service on their smartphone or tablet in the past six months. Among these recent mobile purchasers, nearly a quarter (23%) buy on mobile devices on a weekly basis. Mobile purchasers in Turkey and China report the greatest percentage of their total monthly purchases on smartphones or tablets (44% and 42%, respectively). Those in the U.K., Singapore, and Australia say they make a third or more of purchases on mobile screens.

Overall, 57 percent of the mobile purchasers surveyed say that they have been buying on mobile for over a year. More than a quarter (28%) made their first mobile purchase in the last six months. Austria, Peru, and Colombia are key new adopter markets, with significantly more consumers making their first purchase on mobile within the past year, followed by Mexico, France, Turkey, and Chile.

Retailers can reach out to mobile shoppers by encouraging them to use their mobile wallets at their stores. The most current AudienceSCAN survey found 18.3% of U.S. adults used a mobile wallet for payment (Apple Pay, Android Pay, Samsung Pay, PayPal) in the past 6 months.

The mobile shopping experience, enhanced by the combination of convenience, time saving, and price, won high marks from the majority (80%) of those polled. Sixty-two percent plan to purchase more products and services via their smartphone or tablet in the next six months. Mobile purchasers in the U.K., Brazil, France, Ireland, and Peru expressed the greatest propensity for increasing their mobile shopping activities.

Seventy-six percent of mobile purchasers said that they had engaged with a mobile ad in the last six months. On average, 33 percent clicked on the ad to find out more information, while 28 percent clicked to visit the advertisers’ websites, and 21 percent clicked to purchase. Brazil, Canada, Colombia, the U.K., and the U.S. reported the highest levels of clicking to purchase.

According to AudienceSCAN data, 44.5% of Mobile Wallet Users took action after receiving mobile smartphone app ads or text message ads in the past month.

Social media plays an important role. Sixty percent of mobile purchasers from around the world saying they often discover products and services to buy on social platforms. More than one-third (36%) of mobile purchasers leverage social media to share their mobile purchase experience.

Talking to Mobile Wallet Users on social media could prove effective too. Stores can tout their tech there because AudienceSCAN research says 42.8% took action in the past month based on ads they saw on a social networks.

“Pressing the ‘buy’ button on mobile devices is now a regular occurrence the world over,” said Anna Bager, Senior Vice President, Mobile and Video, IAB. “Marketers and media agencies need to fully embrace smartphones and tablets as a critical pathway for all shopping activities and increase investment if they want to build meaningful relationships with mobile consumers, driving them from discovery to purchase.”

The report shows that credit/debit cards on mobile web and online payment services are the most popular payment methods (40% and 37%, respectively).

Mobile wallet users are the most heavily engaged in mobile commerce, purchasing more frequently on mobile (36% weekly vs. 23%) than average mobile shoppers. In addition, they are more likely to engage with mobile ads (82% interacted vs. 76%). Driven by the ease of purchase, 18 percent have used a mobile wallet for mobile purchases in the past six months. At 47 percent, mobile wallet usage for purchases on smartphones and tablets is strongest in China, followed by Norway (42%), the U.K. (24%), and Japan (20%). Online and off, mobile wallet users have leveraged the technology to pay for a range of items, including:

  • Mobile app downloads or updates (43%)
  • Digital content, such as films and music (42%)
  • Physical products ordered from a website or app (41%)
  • Food or drink in a shop, cafe, or bar (40%)

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies, or with the SalesFuel API. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.