October 6, 2009, 12:00 AM

Number of consumers accessing the mobile web surges 34%, Nielsen says

56.9 million consumers used a mobile device to access the Internet in July 2009 compared with 42.5 million the previous July. That’s good news for retailers in m-commerce looking for more customers.

The number of consumers using a mobile device to access the Internet increased 34% from 42.5 million in July 2008 to 56.9 million in July 2009, according to The Nielsen Co. That’s good news for retailers in m-commerce looking for more customers.

Year-over-year growth among the 13-17 and 65+ age groups outpaced the growth of the total mobile web audience, with a youth increase of 45% and seniors surging 67% in July, Nielsen says. While men continue to make up a larger portion of mobile web users versus women, comprising 53% of the audience in July, the growth of female mobile web users outpaced the growth of male users during the month, with women increasing 43% compared to a 26% growth among men.

“Retailers need to pay increasing attention to mobile commerce,” says Jim Crawford, executive director of the Global Retail Executive Council. “Now is the time to start identifying a mobile commerce strategy. Figure out how to differentiate yourself and design the mobile customer experience you want to deliver.”

Crawford adds that the number of consumers accessing the mobile web will only continue to grow, especially as multiple carriers soon begin debuting wireless network upgrades that increase bandwidth and speed.

“There is no reason to doubt,” he adds, “that mobile commerce is here to stay.”

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