Mobile shopping taking hold in US

More Americans are using mobile devices to make purchases, a new study found.

Smartphones have ultimately changed the wireless landscape for good, and more consumers are using these devices to conduct everyday tasks like shopping. Marketing agency the Integer Group recently conducted a survey of U.S. smartphone user tendencies, and found that people with certain backgrounds are more likely than others to shop using these products.

The firm said U.S. smartphone penetration is approaching 50 percent. Also, 18 percent of African Americans and 16 percent of Hispanics currently use their smartphones to shop, compared to 10 percent of Caucasians.

The study also said that 21 percent of African American shoppers use their smartphones to read product reviews or view shopping lists, compared to 13 percent of Caucasians. Twenty percent of Hispanics use their devices to compare product pricing, while 13 percent of Caucasians fall under this category.

"Digital shoppers are just shoppers," said Integer mobile marketing group director Ben Kennedy. "Digital shopping tools are illustrative of the continued blurring of the on- and offline spaces. Today's reality is that shoppers use whatever tools they have on hand to make them smarter, savvier shoppers."

More consumers shopping via mobile devices

A USA Today report also highlighted the growing popularity of mobile shopping. The news source noted that more people are using mobile devices to purchase products and then pay for them later during their wireless billing periods. However, regions like Asia, Europe and the Middle East currently have sophisticated billing systems, while other areas are trying to catch up.

With so much optimism surrounding the mobile shopping sector, payments through devices are expected to only increase in the near future. Market research firm Gartner released a study that said mobile payments are projected to surpass $171.5 billion worldwide in 2012, growing nearly 62 percent from last year.

"We expect global mobile transaction volume and value to average 42 percent annual growth between 2011 and 2016, and we are forecasting a market worth $617 billion with 448 million users by 2016," Gartner research director Sandy Shen noted.

The number of mobile payment users is also on the rise, according to Gartner. In 2012, more than 212 million people worldwide will use mobile devices to make purchases, growing from 160.5 million in 2011.

The organization also said that worldwide mobile payment users will exceed 212 million this year, increasing from 160.5 million in 2011.

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