Study: German smartphone users like m-commerce, but barriers remain

Fully half of all German smartphone users access the mobile Internet to investigate retail offers, but the majority still make the purchase by visiting the retail store, according to research by Ipsos and TNS Infratest commissioned by Google Germany and German digital economy federation BVDW.

The research, which suggests that retail services and products is a key activity of smartphone owners in Germany, questioned 2,000 consumers and 200 marketing managers to understand the business potential offered by the 12 million smartphone users in Germany.

The top-line finding indicated that 66 per cent of smartphone owners always carry the device with them, 25 per cent use the handset to compare products online, but 12 per cent claim that making a purchase using the smartphone was too complicated.

The most significant barrier to higher usage, according to the research firms, was the lack of retail web sites that were optimised for mobile platforms. Around 60 per cent of those surveyed said they expected mobile web sites to offer the same level of user-friendliness as those accessed via a PC.

The Mobile Marketing Association and Google say they are in the process of conducting further research in 30 countries to establish how consumers are using their mobile devices and the readiness of businesses to engage with consumers via mobile.

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