African consumers are making a shift to “shopping on the move”, with mobile commerce showing a distinct upward trend.
Research by mobile ad network InMobi reveals that African mobile web users prefer the mobile channel (46%) to their desktop (10%) and even in-store (44%) when shopping for apparel, consumer electronics and entertainment tickets.
Surprisingly, non-smartphone users have an even higher preference of browsing and shopping using their mobile versus desktop than smartphone users. This signifies the higher dependence on mobile devices among feature phone users as it's their primary means to digital content in many cases.
The study, conducted among 3 100 African mobile web consumers, found that 59% of South African users have purchased a digital product through their mobile device.
James Lamberti, vice-president: global research & marketing at InMobi, comments: “Mobile shopping is becoming increasingly commonplace in Africa. It’s an exciting time for the consumer, retailer, and manufacturer as mobile shopping solutions will become more accessible, intelligent and compelling to use. With the high level of consumer acceptance a new mass reach retail channel has emerged setting up huge opportunities in the world of mobile advertising. ”
The most popular purchases from mobile devices in South Africa are digital goods at 45%; consumer electronics at 11%, travel at 10%, apparel at 7% and entertainment tickets at 7%.