By Daniel Hunter

BuzzCity today (Wednesday) issued its latest quarterly report on the current trends dominating the global mobile advertising industry.

The report reveals the appetite for mobile commerce is at an all-time high, with consumer confidence diminishing previous fears over security of payments - 3% compared to 27% a year ago.

“It is clear that consumers are now far more receptive to mobile commerce than ever before; this comes as a result of continuous education by the mobile industry to overcome concerns such as trust and security, combined with falling data costs and increased capabilities of smartphones and tablets,” Dr KF Lai, CEO of BuzzCity commented.

The unstoppable proliferation of mobile devices, along with the convenience they provide, has put online stores and the ability to compare and research purchases directly into the hands of consumers.

BuzzCity’s research illustrates how shoppers are using their phones to 'browse and buy' — search engines and social media are a major source of information, along with 14% using review and comparison sites, and 17% relying on friends’ recommendations.

However, mobile advertisements are still influencers to a purchase with 17% claiming to have been persuaded to buy via an ad. With this wide range of mobile touch points brands need to continue to develop an optimum shopping experience, in order to reap the rewards of all that mobile commerce has to offer.

This latest report highlights a key factor in the mobile purchasing chain — convenience. With 74% of consumers using mobile for last-minute purchases, linked to the increasing prevalence of mobile vouchers and QR codes to drive people to connect mobile with the offline world.

The research explores the impact this increased consumer confidence has had on m-commerce, and that there has been a shift in what people are buying - not only purchasing digital products for their phones in the form of entertainment content (video, games, music) but also physical products (clothes and electronics). The latter may yet outpace entertainment as key products driving mobile commerce in UK (56%), US (37%), South Africa (33%) and Nigeria (35%).

“Mobile is now the first screen for many. Our research shows that there are many influences involved in consumers’ decisions when shopping via a mobile device," Dr KF Lai said.

"Marketers must ensure that they put strategy before tactics and take into consideration user behaviour as well as multi-screen viewing. Any brand embarking on global campaigns should bear in mind that consumer reliance on these services can differ greatly by region, and merchants need to understand these cultural nuances by localising content strategies and apportioning resources accordingly.”

Other global highlights of the report include:

· India saw four quarters of double digit growth and closed off with a year-on-year growth of 46%.

· Across South Asia besides India and Bangladesh, Pakistan (4%), and Sri Lanka (49%) remain key targets for advertisers and continue to drive growth

· Across continental Africa growth hotspots keep emerging. Ghana (61%), Tanzania (81%) and Egypt (14%) are markets to watch. Egypt in particular has a relatively high (33%) smartphone penetration and nearly 70% of Egyptian surfers prefer to surf with their mobiles.

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