European M-commerce audience shoots up 43%

Steven Loeb · October 21, 2013 · Short URL:

Spain and Italy saw biggest growth, gaining 60% bigger audience year to year

The mobile retail audience in Europe has seen some pretty tremendous growth over the past year, at least in the five biggest markets across the continent.

In the three months ending in August of this year, the European mobile retail audience was 31 million, an increase of over 43% from the same period the year before, according to data from comScore, which was released on Monday.

That accounts for over 20% of the entire smartphone audience, aged 13 and older, in the so-called EU5, which includes France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom.

When broken down by country, obviously some are seeing bigger gains than others.

Spain and Italy are seeing the highest growth, 66.5% and 66.1%, respectively. Spain, however, still has a lot of growing to do, as it still has the second lowest percent of its smartphone audience visiting these sites, with only 12.2%. Only France came in lower, with 11.7%.

The U.K. had the lowest growth percentage year to year, 29.5%, but it also has the biggest percentage audience, with 27.6%, or 9.7 million visiting retail sites. The country with the most users overall, though, was Germany with an audience close to 10 million.

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More important than who is visiting these sites, though, is what they are doing when they get there. And retailers should be extremely happy with the results. 

The data shows that 14.6 percent, or nearly one out of every seven smartphones users in those countries, bought something through their device in August.

The number of Europeans who made an m-commerce transaction went up by 37% year to year, from 16.6 million to 22.8 million.

The most popular items to buy were clothes and accessories, with 8.4 million, or 5.4%, making this type of purchase.

That was followed by consumer electronics/household appliances with 3.8%, books with 3.8%, tickets with 3.4% and personal care/hygiene products with 2.4%.

Other popular activities included take a picture of the product (23.5%), sending that picture to someone (14.3%), texting or calling about a product (14%) scanning a bar code (10.9%) and comparing prices (7.9%).

The rise of m-commerce

As we all well know by now, the world is going mobile quickly. And so that is where the money is starting to go as well.

Data from comScore, released in August, showed that in the first half of the year, mobile commerce topped $10 billion for the first time. By the end of the year, comScore predicts that mobile commerce will reach $25 billion.

While that is still just 10% of total e-commerce dollars spent, the m-commerce segment is growing twice as fast as traditional e-commerce.

M-commerce spending reached $5.9 billion in the first quarter of 2013 while Q2 saw $4.7 billion in mobile spending, marking a growth rate of 24% over Q2 2012.

When it comes to smartphones vs tablets, smartphones win in the percentage of sales, 6% to 3.5% on tablets. But purchases made on tablets tend to be larger than those made on smartphones. On average, consumers spent 20% more on tablets than they did on smartphones, which could be due to the fact that tablet owners tend to have higher incomes than non-tablet owners.

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