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More Consumers Are Shopping Via Mobile amid the Pandemic

The pandemic has pushed many consumers to shift their shopping behaviors, with many now turning to their mobile phone for their shopping needs.

According to App Annie, shopping apps reached 14.4 million downloads in the US between March 29 and April 4, a 20% increase from January. A more recent study from the mobile app tracker found that 59% of US adults prefer to shop using their mobile phone.

Younger consumers were more likely to feel this way compared with their older cohorts. Nine in 10 respondents ages 25 to 34 said they favored mcommerce, while 78% of 18- to 24-year-olds agreed. Less than one-third of 55- to 64-year-olds said they prefer to shop via mobile, and even fewer respondents (18%) ages 65 and older felt the same way.

With many consumers still wary about physical stores, these mobile shopping gains will likely stick post-pandemic.

“We expect that the effects of the pandemic will accelerate long-term trends in mobile usage,” said Yoram Wurmser, eMarketer principal analyst at Insider Intelligence. “Although some gains with mcommerce and other mobile activities will not last beyond quarantines, the baselines for mobile activities will be higher than they would have been otherwise.”

This year, the number of US mobile buyers—consumers who have used their mobile device to make at least one purchase via a mobile site or app—will reach 167.8 million, according to our May 2020 forecast. That figure will reach 187.5 million, or two-thirds of the US population, in 2024.