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Shopping via Mobile: Spending Patterns, Demographic Profiles, and More

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Men are more likely than women to make purchases using their smartphone (45% vs. 34%), and they're even more more likely to buy certain types of products via mobile device, such as consumer electronics equipment and digital content, according to a study by uSamp.

Also, when shopping via smartphone, younger generations are more likely than older ones to use their device to research products and prices before making purchases, and then to share their shopping experiences via social media, the study found.

Below, additional findings from uSamp's study based on a poll of 1,100 smartphone owners age 18-75.

Among the smartphone owners surveyed, men are more likely than women to use mobile payments (46% vs. 32%) and write reviews on purchases (26% vs. 16%). However, when cashing in on coupons, women are more enthusiastic than men (44% vs. 35%).


More than nine in ten (91%) men have scanned a product barcode via smartphone, compared with 85% of woman.

Men are bigger spenders

Men also tend to outspend women in certain product categories:

  • Men are more than three times more likely than women to purchase consumer electronics goods via mobile device (27% vs. 8%).
  • Men are two times more likely than women to buy movie and event tickets via mobile (23% vs. 11%).
  • Men are 1.5 times more likely than women to buy digital content (30% vs. 20%).

Men tend to shop while at work

Both men and woman conduct much of their mobile shopping while out and about.

For example, 12% of woman find themselves shopping via mobile devices while in waiting rooms, whereas 25% of men most frequently shop via mobile while at the office.

Women rely on shopping apps more than men

Women are more likely than men to download multiple shopping apps, including the following:

  • Group purchase apps: 12% of women own such apps, compared with 5% of men.
  • Online shopping rewards: 9% of women vs. 4% of men.
  • e-coupons: 8% of women vs. 3% of men.
  • Grocery store apps: 9% of women vs. 4% of men.

Younger people are big comparison-shoppers

Younger smartphone owners are more likely than older ones to conduct comparison-shopping activities:

  • Checking or comparing prices: 54% of those age 18-25 and 56% of those age 26-35 have done so, compared with 35% of those age 56-65 and 37% of those age 66-75.
  • Researching items before purchasing: 58% of those age 18-25 and 60% of those age 26-35 have done so, compared with 36% of those age 56-65 and 42% of those age 66-75.
  • Purchasing an item via smartphone: 46% of those age 18-25 and 47% of those age 26-35 have done so, compared with 13% of those 56-65 and 21% of those age 66-75.

Younger people make shopping a social experience 

Younger smartphone owners are more likely than older ones to use social channels throughout the shopping process:

  • Reading reviews of items before purchasing: 54% of those age 18-25 and 53% of those age 26-35 have done so, compared with 32% of those age 56-65 and 26% of those age 66-75.
  • Using social media to comment on purchase: 39% of those age 18-25 and 33% of those age 26-35 have done so, compared with just 10% of those age 56-65 and 11% of those age 66-75.
  • Writing a review of a purchase: 27% of those age 18-25 and 24% of those age 26-35 have done so, compared with 12% of those age 56-65 and 11% of those age 66-75. 

About the data: Findings are based on a survey of 1,100 smartphone owners, age 18-75. The survey was conducted using uSamp Mobile, a platform that blends uSamp's mobile survey technology with its targeted audience to gain consumer and business insights, conducted in the third quarter of 2012.


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