December 1, 2011, 2:01 PM

U.K. smartphone owners embrace m-commerce

33% made an m-commerce purchase in the past 12 months.

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Consumers also are willing to give a mobile commerce site three tries before they abandon it for not meeting their standards.

Smartphone owners in the United Kingdom are using their mobile devices for more than playing games and updating their Facebook pages. Of the more than 1,000 consumers surveyed by EPiServer, which sells content management and e-commerce platform services, 33% made a mobile commerce purchase in the past 12 months using an m-commerce site. 26% used a mobile app to buy a product. There is overlap between these two figures as some consumers used both, though EPiServer does not break out that figure.

While that’s a fair percentage of consumers making mobile purchases, the survey found that consumers continue to encounter obstacles when shopping on mobile devices. Thirty-five percent of respondents say they stop using a mobile web site if they consider it difficult to use.

How quickly a mobile commerce site loads on the phone’s screen and its ease of navigation strongly influence consumers’ opinions, with 32% saying they find mobile web sites difficult to navigate. Almost half—49%—find mobile sites slow.

“These frustrations all add up, and consumers are becoming more ruthless when deciding how long to persevere before moving on to another site, often a competitor,” the report states. Most consumers—64%—say they give a mobile web site an average of three chances to work before they abandon it.

Retailers, however, should not let these issues delay their mobile commerce efforts, EPiServer says. “The mobile web isn’t something that is coming in a few years,” it says. “It is here now and many companies are already taking steps to capitalize.”

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