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Europe sees significant rise in shopping by mobile

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More people in Europe are using their mobile devices to buy consumer goods than ever before, with clothing and electronics the most popular purchases.

The findings from the annual ING International Survey – Mobile Banking 2016 report reveal that two thirds (66%) of people in Europe with a smartphone or tablet now use it to shop online – up from 58% in 2015

The increase in mobile banking1 and ease of ‘one-click ordering’ – which saves users’ payment details – are possible factors contributing to the rise. The study found four fifths (82%) of mobile bankers are using their device for retail therapy, while half (50%) of mobile shoppers admit that they are likely to return to a store that already holds their details.

Who’s leading the way?

Turkey (88%), Italy (69%) and Poland (69%) are the mobile shopping capitals of Europe, but France and the Netherlands are seeing the fastest growth – the number of people making purchases on their mobile devices in these countries has increased 16 percentage points year-on-year from 2015 to 2016.

Across the Atlantic, the U.S. is experiencing the same rate of growth (16 percentage points to 74%), while in Australia the uptake of mobile shopping has increased just 6 percentage points to 49%.

Mobile shopping is most popular among younger mobile users, but year-on-year growth can be seen across all age groups. The number of 18-24 year olds using their smartphone or tablet to shop now stands at 86% – up from 72% in 2015 – but the 25-34 and 45-54 age brackets have both seen an 11 percentage point increase in uptake.

What are people buying?

Mobile purchases across Europe over the last 12 months have been dominated by clothing (43%) and electronics (37%), and the convenience of ordering home-delivered meals from the touch of a screen means one in five people (19%) are now using their device to buy takeaways.

Home to the world’s largest home-delivered meal ordering platform, Yemek Sepeti, the trend is most prevalent in Turkey (41%), but with the likes of Deliveroo now available in various major cities across Europe, appetite in countries like the U.K. (21%) and Spain (21%) shows little sign of slowing down.

More people in the U.K. (26%) buy music via their mobile than in any other European nation, and the U.K. and Turkey (both 31%) buy the most groceries. Elsewhere, consumers in Luxembourg and Italy (27%) are more likely to book a holiday from their mobile device compared to their European neighbours.

Fleur Doidge, Writer on International Consumer Economics at ING, commented: “The mobile revolution is in full force and the proportion of people shopping on their mobile device for everyday goods is rising at an impressive rate. As more people use their phone to manage their finances, we’re seeing more people using them for spending too. Convenience is a big factor at play, and Europe is embracing this ability to shop anytime, anywhere with open arms.

“Technology such as one-click ordering is changing the way we purchase goods and certainly has its advantages for people with busy lives – but to keep the bank balance in check, it’s important to search for the best deals, rather than buy on impulse.”

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