June 24, 2013, 2:18 PM

iPhone users engage far more in m-commerce than Android users

69% of U.S. iPhone owners use their devices to make purchases, Forrester reports.

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When it comes to shopping from a smartphone, Apple Inc.’s iPhone leads the way, new data from Forrester Research Inc. show. 69% of U.S. iPhone owners use their devices to make purchases, according to the research firm’s survey of 53,427 U.S. adults ages 18 and older who have at least one cell phone that they use actively. Android owners come in second place with 53%, followed by BlackBerry with 35% and Windows with 32%.

IPhone owners, however, research from their phones more than they transact, Forrester also finds. 86% of iPhone owners research from their smartphones, while 76% of Android owners do so. That is followed by 57% of BlackBerry owners and 47% of Windows owners.

Figures in the 2013 Internet Retailer Mobile 400 also suggest consumers are buying significantly more from mobile devices. For example, the mobile sales for the top 50 merchants in the Mobile 400, which ranks companies based on their mobile sales, grew approximately 100% in 2012 to reach $10.57 billion up from $5.27 billion a year earlier.  

The new Forrester research also suggests companies are increasingly seeing the importance of investing in mobile, as well. 32% of e-business professionals surveyed by Forrester plan to spend at least $1 million on mobile this year compared to 24% who planned to spend that much in 2012. The current figures are based on a Forrester poll of 145 business professionals.

The number of mobile-optimized sites also is growing, Forrester says, While 56% of business professionals polled in Q1 2012 said their company had a mobile site, in the first quarter of 2013 70% said their company had a mobile site and another 29% said they were planning to build one. That leaves just 1% of businesses without a mobile site and no plans to launch one.

When it comes to mobile apps, 54% of e-business professionals say they have an iPhone app while 34% say they will launch one by the end of the year. That’s higher than an Android app (44% have one and 30% plan to launch one), BlackBerry (12% and 7%) and Windows (6% and 10%).

The use of HTML5 technology is also growing, Forrester finds. In 2012, 26% of companies reported having an HTML5 mobile site. That number grew to 31% this year. And an additional 44% of companies say they plan to launch an HTML5 site. HTML5 is an advanced web programming language that enables programmers to reach into a smartphone and use the device’s technology to provide for richer, faster shopping.

Julie Ask, a vice president and principal analyst at Forrester and the author of the new report, says consumers expect a smooth and easy experience when using their smartphones for shopping so it’s important for companies to invest in mobile technology. “Consumer’s expectations are evolving at breakneck speed,” Ask says. “And so the teams responsible for mobile services must move fast, too.”

More mobile commerce metrics and analysis is contained in the 2013 Internet Retailer Mobile 400.

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