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Mobile Digital Marketing: Mobile Buying Habits of Millennials (Part I of II)


Only 35% of Millennials use their mobile phones to make purchases (FYI: Digital Marketing people that means that the couple on the right side of this picture of trendy millennials and half of the guy with the aviators are on Instagram here and NOT buying something from your website)


How much are Millennials spending via Mobile?

A recent study conducted by Social Lens Research (@sociallens) comes up with some interesting findings about the mobile buying habits (and thus the digital marketing trend.)

While we’re all out here preaching the “mobile first” gospel and everyone’s clamoring to reach the millennials, it seems they have more in common with their slacker predecessor when it comes to mobile commerce – apathy.

The study comprised a survey of 1,200 18-to34-year-old members of the MocoSpace mobile gaming community, which has more than 45 million users.  The majority of those users  (65%) do not buy anything monthly from their mobile phones. Nada. Zero. Zilch.


What are they Really Spending on Mobile?

Of the 35% who do use their mobile device for purchases.  Here’s how much they spend in a typical month,

  • 31% — Under $20
  • 16% — More than $30 to $50
  • 16% — More than $100
  • 14% – $20 to $30
  • 14% — More than $50 to $100

Not exactly the kind of #s traditional retailers want to see, but it is good to see that once you’ve broken the $20 barrier, there little differnence in the consumer’s mind between $30 and over $100.


What’s the BFD?

Of those who do purchase from their phone, millennials aren’t necessarily breaking the bank, with almost half (45%) spending $30 or less a month. Of those users who actually do buy via mobile, there’s hardly a consensus on the attraction of apps vs. mobile websites.  Breaking down the 35% who do make mobile purchases monthly, more (23%) purchase via mobile websites compared to apps (18%). It would appear that part of the challenge of nudging millennials into more mobile purchasing is making it easier to do, since more than a third (35%) said they would like to buy more on their phone but it’s not an easy thing to. There also still seems to be some reluctance, whether it be trust, or access to credit, that is keeping people in general from making larger purchase.

NEXT: Part II What Prompts Millennials to Buy via Mobile