Millennials Driving Mobile Commerce Growth

Younger Internet users are driving the mobile commerce growth, with roughly 40 percent of those between the ages of 16 and 24 worldwide using a mobile device to shop online each month, according to a quarterly m-commerce report from Global Web Index.

That compares with 36 percent of all online adults, the Q1 GWI report said. In addition, one-fifth of all Internet users are selling something online using mobile devices, and 26 percent of Internet users are active on shopping apps, with 70 percent of those app users buying a product online.

For its survey, GWI used rolling interviews over the course of a year, surveying more than 40,000 new users each quarter worldwide.

Millennials — those born since 1980 — are easily the most active group with shopping apps. Among those ages 16-24, 29 percent said they used a shopping app in the past month, while those ages 25-34 were even more app-happy at 30 percent. Those ages 35-44 were at 27 percent, with 45-54-year-olds at 17 percent and those between 55-64 at 9 percent.

By region, only 20 percent of North American customers made a mobile-commerce purchase in the past month, compared with 21 percent in Europe, 26 percent in the Middle East and Africa, 27 percent in Latin America, and an astounding 46 percent in the Asia Pacific region. According to the survey, half of Chinese Internet users shop online with a mobile device each month. India saw the biggest rise in mobile shoppers over 2014, with 45 percent of the Internet population doing m-commerce and one-third using the Amazon app monthly.

Social commerce also appears to be getting traction worldwide, with 67 percent of users of TenCent’s WeChat social network buying products through their mobile phones. That compares with 59 percent of users on Alibaba-backed Sina Weibo, followed by users of Snapchat (52 percent), Facebook Messenger (47 percent), Instagram, Google+ and WhatsApp (45 percent each), Pinterest and Twitter (43 percent each) and Facebook (36 percent).

But while the GWI study confirms what other studies have found — that mobile commerce continues to grow dramatically — it also confirms another key data point: Only one-tenth of mobile-commerce shoppers don’t use other devices for some of their purchases. Or to put it in a less convoluted way, 90 percent of mobile shoppers are multi-device shoppers, with the most common “other device” being desktop computers.