Smartphone Users Turn to Apps to Make Purchases

In addition, more than half (55 percent) of smartphone owners used an app to make a mobile bank transaction, according to the Verizon survey.

mobile and commerce

A majority of smartphone owners (56 percent) purchased a product using an app in 2015, according to a survey conducted by Verizon and KRC Research on mobile app trends in 2015.

The survey shows 23 percent of smartphone owners took this step for the first time last year, and 70 percent of Millennials used an app to make a purchase, an 85 percent increase over 2014.

"The survey shows Millennials live in a digital first world. They don’t see disruptive new apps as barriers, but instead they see possibilities to explore," Scott Charlston, public relations manager for Verizon, told eWEEK. "They’re first to adopt apps as a more convenient way to buy, book and bank. They’ve grown up expecting that every few years, they’ll get a better device with better apps to manage work, entertainment and social activities along with wireless networks that also grow bigger, faster and more reliable."

More than half (55 percent) of smartphone owners used an app to make a mobile bank transaction, and more than one in every five adults surveyed (22 percent) used an app to grab a ride in 2015, compared to 10 percent in 2014.

"You can see in the numbers, the convenience of doing business through smartphone apps far outweighs other concerns for Millennials," Charlston said. "They are buying, banking and booking with apps more than Gen X and Baby Boomers, but when you see 43 percent of boomers now embrace mobile banking and 39 percent have purchased something with an app—it’s clear a significant behavioral shift is underway."

He said there may be several reasons Boomers trail Gen X and Millennials in app adoption, including the fact that they may not trust technology as much and may have fewer friends who are tech trailblazers to encourage that change.

Nearly a quarter of U.S. smartphone owners (23 percent) made a mobile bank transaction for the first time in 2015, a 70 percent growth from 2014, and an estimated 26 percent of American smartphone owners used an app to make a restaurant reservation, with 11 percent of them doing so for the first time in 2015--a 72 percent annual increase.

"We expect to see continued growth in mobile banking and commerce via smartphone because a customer can access apps and do business at any hour of the day, almost no matter where they are due to improvements to wireless networks," Charlston said. "Businesses focused on the consumer are finding customers of all ages will use an app that’s easy to navigate and saves time."