The European mobile retail audience grew by 43 percent over the past year, with 20 percent of smartphone users accessing online retail sites and apps using their device, according to the latest market study by comScore. The study included mobile phone usage characteristics across the five leading EU markets -- France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom.
Mobile online retail adoption is on the upswing -- 1 in 7 European smartphone users reported having completed a retail transaction on their mobile phone in a month.
In the three month average ending August 2013, 20.4 percent of the EU5 smartphone audience accessed online retail sites, displaying an increase of 2.8 percentage points in the past year.
Spain was the fastest growing market with a growth rate of 66.5 percent to almost 3.3 million smartphone users accessing retail sites on their mobile.
Italy ranked second with a growth rate of 61.3 percent to almost 5.6 million smartphone users accessing those sites on their device. When looking at the year-on-year growth of smartphone owners accessing online retail sites, Italy ranks first with a 4.8 percentage point increase, reaching a level of 19.3 percent of smartphone users accessing retail sites in a month.
In terms of audience size, Germany had the largest number of smartphone users accessing retail sites (9.9 million), followed by the UK with 9.7 million.
Taking a picture of a product whilst in a physical retail store was the most popular in-store activity performed by smartphone owners in the EU5, with nearly a quarter of users (23.5 percent) doing so during the month.
Europeans also tend to seek advice from friends and family when making purchase decisions, as 14.3 percent sent a picture of a product and 14.0 percent called or texted friends/family about a product.
Approximately 1 in 7 European smartphone users (14.6 percent) purchased goods or services via their device in August 2013. The number of Europeans engaging in m-commerce transactions has increased by 37 percent over the year from 16.6 million users in August 2012 to 22.8 million in August 2013.
An analysis of the top 5 goods and services purchased via smartphone showed clothing or accessories (5.4 percent) and consumer electronics/household appliances (3.8 percent of smartphone audience) were the most popular retail categories.
Other services or goods purchased by smartphone owners in Europe were books (3.8 percent), tickets (3.4 percent) and personal care or hygiene products (2.6 percent).