A new study from MEF, the global community for mobile content and commerce, shows that 88% of all mobile users engage in content for mobile and commerce.
The annual Global Consumer Survey was carried out in partnership with On Device Research and aimed to reveal the behaviour of mobile media users from 10 countries studied across the world, including South Africa.
According to the report, the mobile market is maturing, with 80% of all consumers using their phones for research – but among over 35s, the number is 88%.
Similarly, 55% of people have made purchases from their mobile, but the figure is 64% for over 35s.
Developing markets, unsurprisingly, account for the most significant increases in mobile commerce, showing the biggest rises in mobile content including apps, and commerce.
This growth is reflected in countries such as Qatar (seeing an increase from 73% of active consumers in 2011 to 86% in 2012); India (85% to 90%); and SA (89% to 95%).
In contrast, mature markets such as the UK, have remained static at 91% for 2011 and 2012, the study showed.
It also revealed that the bigger share of mobile commerce is still centred on digital purchases rather than physical ones.
However, considerable growth is taking place in the physical sector, with the study showing an increase in these goods to 31%, from 24% in 2011.
The report revealed that 80% of people use their phone for research, up from 58% in 2011, of which, 69% then went on to make a purchase via mobile.
Up to 64% of consumers now use their devices to conduct mobile banking – up from 57% in 2011.
Payment via card has taken over from operator billing, with 27% of those surveyed using a card for m-commerce, against just 14% making payments via the phone bill (not including purchasing airtime).
“MEF’s 2012 report shows how far mobile has come as a channel for both consumer engagement and entertainment,” said Andrew Bud, global chair for MEF.
“Across the world, mobile content and commerce is increasingly the most convenient way to discover, to choose and to buy,” he said.