13-country MEF Study Finds mCommerce Spend Rising

Spotify alexMEF has released the results of its third annual Global Consumer Survey, which looks at the behaviour and attitudes of mobile media users in 13 countries.

Carried out in partnership with On Device Research, the expanded annual study, which this year includes Kenya, Nigeria and UAE for the first time, analyses data from 10,000 consumers. It reveals that 65 per cent of mobile media users in the countries surveyed have used their device to buy goods or services.

While 25 per cent of respondents said they were happy to shop on mobile for physical and perishable goods, digital goods still account for the majority of revenues. The study, however, shows a decline in the proportion of mobile users buying goods and services on their phone, from 54 per cent of mobile media users in 2012, to 42 per cent in 2013.

On a more positive note, the value of individual purchases is rising. ‘High-spend’ purchases (over $151 or equivalent) jumped to 39 per cent, with ‘low-spend’ items (under $15.99 or equivalent) at 37 per cent, dropping from 43 per cent in 2012. High spenders are most prolific in Nigeria, Mexico and Kenya, reflecting the mobile-first ecosystems in these regions.

The report covers Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Nigeria. Qatar, S. Africa, UAE, UK and US. It identifies a discernable shift in the purchasing of digital goods as consumers embrace an era of Mobile 3.0.

One feature identified in the study is the emergence of a new breed of super apps that are displacing one off purchases – for music or video for example – with longer-term subscription-based services or apps and games, typified by in-app purchase models and long-term player engagement. This is true of both developed and emerging markets.

However, says MEF, consumer trust remains a significant barrier to increased adoption and purchasing behaviour and is a growing concern for consumers. In the 2013 Global Consumer Survey, 40 per cent of consumers cited trust as an issue, compared with 35 per cent in 2012 and 27 per cent in 2011.

“MEF’s 2013 annual study vividly illuminates the worldwide emergence of Mobile 3.0, the next phase in the evolution of mobile content and commerce,” said MEF global chair, Andrew Bud. “In Mobile 3.0, mobile has become the primary tool for engagement and transaction in consumers’ digital lives, creating exciting new opportunities and challenges. As an industry, we must continue to work to reduce the barriers to this growth, and especially to ensure trust and confidence in the ecosystem and its business models.”