How to DIY your own mobile graphs

I love it when data is both usable and fun to play with. Last night, I spent way too much time messing around with Our Mobile Planet, a new online tool that lets you create your own graphs using a pretty broad swathe of parameters. I had a good time (I have small children; my idea of a good time has changed), and I learned a thing or two. What more can you ask for on a weeknight?

Our Mobile Planet is a collaboration between Google, Ipsos, and the Mobile Marketing Association, and it uses mobile data gathered worldwide between March and July of this year. You can read more about the methodology here, but first let’s jump into a few of the graphs I came up with. Note that most of these graphs focus on U.S. smartphone owners, but you can slice and dice your data using dozens of other countries. (Click on each graph to see a larger version.)

Men are more likely to buy via mobile than women.

First up, some general stuff. I wasn’t surprised that the majority of smartphone owners have yet to buy something with their phones, but the number of people who have bought something was a bit higher than I expected. It was interesting to note that the number of men who had bought something was 50% higher than the number of women.

Mobile graph: People who have made a purchase on their smartphone

Security and complexity are significant barriers to entry for mobile shopping.

Then I took a look at why people reported not wanting to buy over their phones. Just over a third said that it doesn’t feel secure, and a total of 17% reported some variation of “it’s too complicated”. (If this is giving you deja vu, it’s because it sounds like what people were saying about ecommerce in the late ’90s.)

Mobile graph: Barriers to buying over smartphone

In-store research kills 1 out of 4 purchases.

As someone who uses their phone in-store a lot, I wanted to get a sense of how I compare to other people. Turns out that almost 1 out of 3 people plan to do in-store research in advance. About 1 out of 4 say they’ve changed their minds about buying something after looking it up on their phones.

Mobile graph: Impact of smartphone on purchasing decisions

At least 25% of smartphone users use phones to research and/or buy (in some product categories).

This naturally lead me to wonder what people are buying, so I took a look at a few of the vertical markets we work the most with here at Strangeloop. Ignore the big yellow “do not use smartphone to research or buy” bar. Instead, take note that, if you aggregate the other bars, you see that at least 25% of smartphone users — and almost half of users in the electronics market — are using their devices to research and/or buy. When you think about the overall growth of the mobile market, this is a pretty significant number.

Mobile graph: Smartphone shoppers and business travel

Mobile graph: Smartphone shoppers and leisure travelMobile graph: Smartphone shoppers and clothingMobile graphs: Smartphone shopping and electronicsMobile graph: Smartphone shopping and online tickets

Men are twice as likely as women to perform an action after seeing a mobile ad.

In light of my recent post about mobile ads, I wanted to get an idea of whether or not the average mobile user even acts on the ads they’re served. The non-gender-segregated graph wasn’t terribly compelling, but on a whim I decided to segregate the data and things got a bit more interesting. Men were about twice as likely as women to click on an ad or visit a website after seeing an ad.

Mobile graphs: Mobile ads and effectiveness, male vs female

China, India, and Japan are leading the m-commerce charge.

As I mentioned, most of my graphs focus on U.S. data. You can also make queries across dozens of other countries (though not Canada; but it’s okay, we’re used to that). So I decided to revisit my first graph about mobile shopping to see what percentage of people in other countries reported having ever made an online purchase. The leaders were, in order, China (at 54%), India (50%), and Japan (45%), with Singapore, Thailand, and Hong Kong following in the 33-35% range. The U.S. is next at 29%.

(If you’re interested in learning more about the growing role of online shopping in China, we recently did a report and a set of infographics you should check out.)

Mobile graphs: Smartphone owners and online shopping (international)

Now that you have a good sense of how I like to spend a Thursday night, take a spin through Our Mobile Planet yourself. If you find something cool, let me know. 🙂

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