January 20, 2011, 10:33 AM

1% of shoppers say mobile is their primary online buying channel

New Internet Retailer research reveals mobile device penetration and shopping habits.

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A recent survey conducted exclusively for Internet Retailer reveals that 1% of online consumers use their web-enabled mobile devices as their primary channel for making online purchases. The data also reveal great growth potential.

Internet Retailer’s Holiday Shopping Online survey of 1,000 U.S. adults conducted by Lightspeed Research shows 95% of shoppers in online households shop with e-retailers primarily from their home computers, 4% from their work computers and 1% from their mobile devices. Yet, as of late December, 37% of primary household shoppers also owned a web-enabled mobile device, such as a smartphone or iPad tablet.

That proportion of web-enabled device owners goes up to 47% in households with incomes greater than $50,000. 29% of primary household shoppers in households with incomes of less than $50,000 owned a web-enabled mobile device.

The survey, conducted online Dec. 28 to Jan. 4, shows consumers in the South have adopted web-enabled mobile devices more than any other region. 42% of primary household shoppers in the South say they also own a web-enabled device, compared with 38% in the Midwest, 32% in the Northeast and 30% in the West.

An earlier survey from Lightspeed Research shows that even though mobile may not be most consumers’ primary buying channel, shoppers do turn to their web-enabled mobile devices to help them shop. 16% of adults surveyed in late September had used a mobile device to locate a store, 14% to look up product information, 13% to compare prices and 8% to check product availability.

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