US Takes to Smartphone Shopping

29 per cent of US smartphone owners use their phone for shopping-related activities, according to Nielsen’s latest US Digital Consumer Report.  Top activities among mobile shoppers include in-store price comparisons (38 per cent); browsing products on the mobile web or in apps (also 38 per cent); and reading online product reviews (32 per cent).

Although only 9 per cent of mobile shoppers have used their phone to pay at the register, the desire to do so is apparent – 71 per cent of app users would be interested in an app that allows them to use their phone as a credit card. iPhone users are more interested in this option than Android users, with 39 per cent saying they would be extremely or very interested in an app with this ability. App downloads overall are growing: consumers downloaded twice as many shopping-related apps than they did last year.

The report also looks at trends in digital consumption in recent years, and reveals that today, 274m Americans have internet access through their computer, more than double the number in 2000. In October 2011, 31.4m people accessed the internet via their mobile phone.

Time spent on social networks and blogs has increased from 6.6bn minutes in 2005 to 81bn minutes in October2011. Smartphone ownership has increased massively – 44 per cent of US mobile users own a smartphone, compared to 3.2 per cent in 2006. (It’s tempting to ask whether there were any smartphones in 2006, the year before the iPhone launched, but I guess things like the Nokia Communicator and some of the Windows SPV phones would fall into this category, and probably many more too that I’ve since forgotten ever existed – Ed.)

The report also found evidence of second screening, with 57 per cent of smartphone and Tablet owners checking email , and 44 per cent visited a social networking site, while watching TV. The majority of mobile phone time overall (64 per cent) was consumed by app usage.