Email and search are the most popular smartphone activities behind making phone calls, according to data included in our new Mobile Commerce Compendium.

When asked which tasks they had carried out in the past week, three-quarters of smartphone owners (74%) said email while just over two-thirds (67%) said search.

This again highlights the importance of mobile search, which is predicted to overtake desktop search next year, and shows that brands can no longer afford to ignore the opportunity it presents.

This is particularly true for brick-and-mortar stores as the data also shows that more than a third (36%) of smartphone owners had used a map tool in the previous seven days.

What tasks have you carried out using your smartphone in the past week?

Use of mobile commerce

Though mobile is playing an increasingly prominent role in the customer journey, conversion rates on smartphones still lag far behind tablet and desktop.

Data from Screen Pages shows that average conversion rate from desktop computers is 5.41%, compared to 4.16% on iPad and 1.3% on smartphone.

This is reflected in that fact that although 27% of smartphone owners said they had shopped online in the past week, just over half (51%) said they hadn’t made a purchase on their device in the preceding six months.

A further 26% of respondents had made fewer than three purchases using their smartphone, while only 12% had made seven or more transactions.

In the past six months how many times, if at all, have you used your smartphone to make a purchase from a mobile website or using a mobile app?

Among those who had made a purchase using their mobile, 54% had spent less than £50 in total in the previous six months.

This indicates that in general consumers still shy away from making bigger purchases using the mobile web or apps, although on the flip side 30% of mobile shoppers had spent more than £100.

Roughly how much money have you spent in total through mobile websites and apps in the past six months?

The data comes from a Toluna survey of 1,000 UK consumers, the full results of which are included in the Mobile Commerce Compendium.

It contains tips and advice on mobile commerce, mobile search, and how mobile can be used in-store and as part of a broader multichannel strategy.

David Moth

Published 1 July, 2013 by David Moth

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn

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Comments (4)


David Aldred, Web Manager at The University of Nottingham

Did your questioning over purchases from smartphones exclude buying apps?

about 5 years ago

Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton, Editor in Chief at ClickZ Global

@David. Yes, it relates to shopping from mobile retail sites or apps.

It should be noted that this was an online survey, and therefore the respondents skew slightly towards the more tech-savvy, in as far as they have a PC and an internet connection.

about 5 years ago


David Aldred, Web Manager at The University of Nottingham

I think the exact wording of the question matters here, though.

If you buy (say) Swiftkey from the Google Play app, that's a purchase from a retail app.

But I'd argue that buying smartphone apps has a very different 'feel' to buying something from Sainsburys, and unless the question very clearly excluded buying smartphone apps, it's telling us very little about 'hard' buying habits.

about 5 years ago


Offpeakluxury (Barry Mills)

I'd love to see some research separating different types of transaction. there are certain types of transaction where the smartphone has a massive advantage over other devices, such as last minute hotel bookings (when you are in town and missed your last train say), or music/software downloads where the purchase is specifically FOR the smartphone.

On other types of transaction, I struggle to understand why anyone would choose to do them on a smartphone if they don't have to. Mind you, I struggle to understand why kids want to wear their pants half way down their backsides, so I am open to being educated.

about 5 years ago

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