The Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) and Luth Research have published research that shows about a fifth of US adult mobile phone owners have used their handsets for shopping (mobile commerce or 'm-commerce') in the last month.
It's defining mobile commerce as "the one- or two-way exchange of value facilitated by a mobile consumer electronic device, which is enabled by wireless technologies and communication networks."
The new survey found that 17% of respondents used their mobile phone to purchase applications, ringtones and other digital content. 6% used their phone to receive coupons or discounts and 6% used their mobile phone to purchase physical goods or non-mobile content/services.
56% of mobile content purchases were made via a network operator, with 43% percent paying via a bank or credit card account.
Peter A Johnson, the MMA's vice president of market intelligence, said "The Consumer Briefing shows that mobile commerce is beginning to insert itself into the mainstream of US commerce. For several years, we’ve seen millions of people purchase ringtones, games and other apps. Now mobile consumers are branching out to use their mobile phone as a passport to other kinds of purchases, as well. This is a change not just in quantity, but quality, too. This strong and growing adoption highlights the reach, effectiveness and trustworthiness of the mobile channel for a wide variety of purchases, including physical goods and services."