Federal Reserve Releases Study on Mobile Consumer Trends

This week, the Federal Reserve reported findings from the survey it recently spearheaded which was designed to show the latest habits and trends among mobile consumers.

And the report tells us nothing we didn’t already know. Mobile usage is on fire and poised to grow at an exponential rate.

Consumers already make significant use of the Internet to inform their major purchases, the Fed survey shows. A majority of respondents (58 percent) indicate that they comparison-shop online, and the same percentage say they look at product reviews before making a large purchase while at a retail store. Even though security concerns may make consumers wary of mobile devices as the payment mechanism for point of-sale purchases, the technology can enable shopping and comparisons of products and services.

Approximately one in eight (16 percent) mobile phone users report using their mobile phone for online shopping, and nearly one-fifth of consumers with mobile phones (19 percent) say that they use their mobile phone to comparison shop while at a retail store.

Despite the relative novelty of barcode scanning applications, the Federal Reserve survey found that 12 percent of mobile phone users report using a barcode scanning application for price comparisons. One in six (16 percent) mobile phone users report using their mobile phone to browse online shopping reviews while in the store.

Many consumers who use their mobile phone to comparison-shop report that they altered their decisions as a result: 65 percent who have comparison shopped in a store report that they changed where they made a purchase after comparing prices, and 77 percent report that they changed what they purchased as a result of reading product reviews on their mobile phone while at a retail store.

This incredibly comprehensive report can be read in full here.