Facebook recently released fresh information that offers an inside look at how people shop.
The social networking service’s research department, Facebook IQ, publicized its findings after observing shopping transactions “that were generated via ads on Facebook,” as reported by The Wall Street Journal. Although the research focused on shopping generated through Facebook ads, it still provides insight into general spending habits in today’s mobile age.
The study found that, of all online shopping done in the U.S. between January and May of 2015, 30 percent of shopping was conducted on mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets (24 percent and 6 percent respectively) versus desktop computers.
Furthermore, Facebook IQ found that during the five-month period, the rate of mobile shopping increased 35 percent. The news isn’t a complete surprise, due to the strong presence of mobile devices and the convenience that they offer in terms of on-the-go shopping.
In fact, Facebook IQ reported that roughly 73 percent “of people say they always have their phone on them.” Additionally, 56 percent of omnichannel shoppers used their mobile device to shop because it was “in their hand” at the time, and 55 percent claimed they did so “because they can do it ‘anywhere, anytime.’”
So what does this mean for desktop computers? Facebook says that while mobile shopping is on the rise, people aren’t done with computers yet.
The study revealed that many consumers use their phone or tablet for research, but use larger desktops to actually complete the transaction. Facebook also found that most people use mobile devices –whether to research or buy –45 percent of the time; that number increases to 57 percent for Millennials.
In the future, we should still expect to see shoppers using both types of devices, but they will rely more and more on mobile. This year alone, m-commerce sales are expected to hit $74 billion, a 32 percent increase from 2014, Facebook IQ reported.
So who is responsible for the rise of m-commerce? Not surprisingly, Facebook IQ pointed to the generally tech-savvy Millennials –born between the early 1980s and early 2000s –as the source.
Numbers show that the younger demographic is more inclined to use smartphones to shop than “older consumers,” who demonstrate a preference for larger tablets. More specifically, Millennials seem to favor shopping via retailers’ mobile apps than websites.
Hoping to capitalize off the wave of mobile app shopping, Reuters reported that Facebook announced it has begun testing new ad features that will let users “shop directly through its app.” Emma Rodgers, in charge of product marketing for commerce at Facebook, said, “We’re looking to give people an easier way to find products that will be interesting to them on mobile, make shopping easier and help businesses drive sales.”