People are spending more money on their mobile phones, and not because wireless bills are increasing. More and more people are using smartphones to make purchases and charitable donations, according to recent research from Experian.
In the 2013 Digital Marketer: Benchmark and Trend Report, Experian found that people are increasingly using their phones not just to browse shopping sites and compare prices, but to actually buy items and donate money.
The annual report showed that people in a higher-than-average income bracket are the most likely to spend money using their mobile phones, particularly in the food and beverage and travel spending categories.
Eating—and paying—on the go
People in households earning over $100,000 a year were 12% more likely to make food purchases via smartphones than the general population. Tablets and personal computers were even more popular for ordering food. Those same respondents were 29% more likely to use tablets to purchase food, and 30% more likely to use personal computers to order than folks in lower income brackets.
The five most popular culinary websites visited by people in the $100K+ demographic are OpenTable.com, Starbucks, Ruby Tuesday, Outback Steakhouse and Red Lobster. OpenTable.com is a website that takes reservations for a wide variety of restaurants.
Donating money via phone
When it comes to shopping, personal computers and tablets generally have an edge over smartphones because their screens are bigger. But there’s one category where it’s just as easy to spend money using a phone—charitable giving. In recent years, making a donation by texting to a particular phone number has become an increasingly popular way to offer aid to disaster victims, such as those affected by Hurricane Sandy. Now many charities have jumped on board the text-to-give trend. People do not even have to have a smartphone with a data plan to make donations via text.
Experian found that people were consistently more likely to use a tablet or computer to make a purchase, except in the case of charitable donations. People making $100,000 a year or more were just as apt to use a phone to donate funds as they were to donate using their computer or tablet.
Have phone will travel
Another category where people were likely to spend money with their phone was travel. Survey respondents (again in the $100K+ household income category) were 16% likelier to make travel reservations via smartphone than the general population.
Overall, consumers have a rising level of comfort with making purchases using their smartphones. In the last four years, the number of people who want to receive ads on their smartphones has gone up by 45%. In 2010, only 6% of people with mobile phones said they would buy things advertised on their phones. In 2014, that number was up to 10%.