The smartphone - a retail top shelf item

What started as online versions of physical stores are now a complex ecosystem where it is sometimes hard to differentiate between communication apps and classic online shopping services.

The transition from traditional means of acquiring and delivering products and services to digital means accessible through mobile phones has begun to be the new normal. The smartphone continues to grab market share as the preferred device for online retail activities. The increase from 2018-2019 was not as large as the change in 2017-2018, yet was still very noticeable in all the areas.

The evolution of the smartphone preference
Which, if any, is your preferred device for each of the following activities?

Most impressive is the change in making online purchases, which has increased by 150 per cent over the course of two years. This can partly be attributed by the increase in supply of service and shopping apps1. That said, the smartphone is still more likely to be used for searching or browsing rather than the actual purchase. Over the course of the last three years more people across all the age segments have purchased a product online using their mobile phone. It is hardly any surprise that mobile online shopping is getting more common2.

However, it is worth noting that the increase is apparent in all age segments, highlighting that a smartphone is becoming an increasingly useful device for us all. The online purchasing of services has increased as well.

All ages are using the mobile phone more for retail
Activities use mobile phone for - Purchase a product online/Purchase a service online

The modern marketplace is changing

Retailer websites are still the preferred purchase sites in the eyes of the consumer. It might be too early to tell, but a shift in marketplaces could be under way. Retailer websites had a decline of three percentage points compared to 2018, while the three app categories all had an increase: six and seven points for marketplace and messenger apps.

The preference for retailer websites could be connected to the increased preference for using mobile phones for online shopping. The consumers still prefer the computer to the phone for making online purchases and with this might come the high base value of the retailer’s website, because consumers are used to accessing the site this way, even when they use their phones3.

Preferred purchase sites when purchasing products/services online using
You mentioned that you purchased a product / service online, using your smartphone. Which of the following do you normally use when purchasing products / services online using your smartphone?

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