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Number of online shoppers making mobile purchases doubles

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In the brand new report “Digital Payments in the U.S.: Consumer Usage, Wallets & P2P”, market research firm Packaged Facts reveals that, in 2017, the percentage of American adult consumers reporting mobile internet activity in the past 30 days reached 52%, up roughly 50% in just four years. Banking-related mobile activity grew at faster rate — up an average of 16% annually — while purchase-related mobile activity grew at an even faster rate, up an average of 28% annually, which suggests that mobile access is translating quickly to mobile commerce.

While mobile shopping has a long way to catch up to online shopping generally, the gap is closing. In 2017, more than a third (39%) of online purchasers reported making a mobile purchase, up from less than 20% of online purchasers in 2013. Similarly, banking and gathering information for shopping have similarly trended upward.

The trend underscores the importance of mobile checkout schemes that make the mobile purchase experience simple and seamless and the need to smoothly integrate them into the mobile shopping experience, Packaged Facts noted.

“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.”

The good news is that the opportunity at least is there. Once the more exclusive domain of younger adults, smartphone ownership is now more evenly spread across all age groups except for senior over age 75. Similarly, the age gap separating online purchasing behavior has narrowed over time, although online purchasing among the 25-44 set is at least 20% more likely than average.

On the downside, mobile-related behavior remains strongly differentiated by age, Packaged Facts explained. Trends over time suggest that usage barriers remain among older adults and that mobile purchasing among Millennials ages 18-24 is running counter to industry expectations. Adults ages 25-44 are at least 40% more likely than average to have made a mobile purchase in 2017, but while this behavior was generally almost three times more prevalent in 2017 than in 2013, statement agreement among 18-24 year-olds relative to other age groups declined during this period, according to survey results featured in the report.

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