It’s no secret that the cellphone has had a huge impact on commerce — whether online or in-store. More than three years ago, we were writing about “showrooming” — when consumers research products in-store but buy online — and more recently we’ve talked about “webrooming” — the flip side of that.
The latest e-commerce report from Pew Research Center offers new data on how shoppers are using their cellphones, and not just for product research but also for purchasing. A survey of almost 4,800 US adults conducted in late 2015 shows that about 80 percent have bought something online, and just over half of all US adults have made a purchase via their cellphones.
Shopping via cellphone is much more common among younger shoppers. Pew’s research shows that 77 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds and 64 percent of 30- to 49-year-olds have made a purchase on their phones. To compare, only 36 percent of 50- to 64-year-olds and 17 percent of those 65 and older said they’ve used their phones to buy something online.
The cellphone continues to play an important role in bridging online and offline shopping. Pew asked its panel how they use cellphones while shopping in physical stores. The most common reply was calling or texting someone for shopping advice. After that, 45 percent said they look up product reviews/information on their phone, and the same number said they use their phones to look for better prices online.
For many US adults, buying something online still isn’t a common occurrence. Only about 15 percent said they make an e-commerce purchase at least every week, and 28 percent said they buy online “a few times a month.” The other 57 percent said they either “never” buy things online, or they buy less often than a few times a month. That data is in stark contrast to the recent Feedvisor research showing that 30 percent of Amazon Prime members order on Amazon.com every week.