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Poll reveals m-commerce scepticism

04 January 2013 - 16:13 by Simon Crisp

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While there has been much talk of the importance of safe shopping online carried out via portable devices like smartphones and tablets over the past couple of weeks, one poll at least suggests that not everyone is completely in love with this type of retail experience.

TechWeekEurope asked its readers to provide their opinions of m-commerce services and the wider e-commerce market, in the wake of the Christmas shopping sprees, with only 10 per cent of respondents stating that they used a smartphone or a tablet to purchase the majority of their gifts.

This put m-commerce services into fifth place, behind the 25.6 per cent of people who shopped on their local high street and the 43.8 per cent who chose to use a laptop or desktop computers, to indulge in some safe shopping online.

In fact, a quarter of those questioned said that they did not really get on with the whole idea of Christmas as a major festival of consumerism in the first place.

This poll is interesting because it was clearly taking answers from a tech-savvy slice of the population, which you might imagine would be more inclined to use m-commerce services than the general public.

However, it seems that perhaps people are not as keen to make purchasing decisions when using a smartphone or tablet, as many retailers and device manufacturers would have us believe.

The web access provided to us by these gadgets is more readily used to access social networking services like Facebook and Twitter.

You could of course argue that e-commerce is becoming an increasingly social experience, with buying habits being shaped by customer reviews and suggestions made by our pals online.

This means that mobile devices still have a role to play, even if they never dominate e-commerce to the same degree as desktop computers.