comScore’s 2013 Mobile future In Focus report was released on Thursday and delivers up-to-date insights into the state of the mobile marketplace. The report looks at the differences in the ways that smartphones and tablets are used in eCommerce, as well studying the international marketplace and the competition between Android and iOS platforms.

Most interesting for us are the tables examining the activities for which smartphones are most used in comparison to tablets – smartphones drive “showrooming”, tablets drive purchase – and the breakdown of online audience between desktop and mobile for major websites.

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Share of Smartphone and Tablet Owners Performing Mobile Retail ActivitiesSource: comScore MobiLens and TabLens, U.S., 3 Month Avg. Ending Dec-2012

From the report:
While smartphones are becoming disruptive to the traditional retail environment, tablets are changing shopping behaviors in somewhat different ways. Because their functionality more closely resembles that of computers, tablets are not influencing the in-store shopping experience as much as they are driving in-home shopping behavior. In fact, tablet users were significantly more likely than smartphone owners to engage in various shopping behaviors, such as researching product features and comparing prices. Perhaps most importantly, tablet users were twice as likely to purchase items on their devices (38 percent) than smartphone owners (19 percent).

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Selected Social Networking Activities Among Smartphone and Tablet Owners Source: comScore MobiLens and TabLens, U.S., 3 Month Avg. Ending Dec-2012

The report also provides some figures on the level of engagement that brands are achieving via social media. We think that it has become pretty apparent that social platforms don’t drive many transactions as yet, but comScore does at least find that around 40% of users read posts or updates from companies and brands:
2 in 5 smartphone subscribers read posts from brands and organizations, while nearly half of the tablet audience reported doing so as well. A slightly lower percentage of smartphone (34.5 percent) and tablet (41.3 percent) owners read posts by celebrities and public figures. Finally, 1 in 4 smartphone owners reported receiving a coupon, offer or deal via mobile social networking. A greater percentage of tablet owners (34 percent) reported the same thing.

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Top Mobile Media Activities by Share of Smartphone and Tablet UsersSource: comScore MobiLens and TabLens, U.S., 3 Month Avg. Ending Dec-2012

Unsurprisingly the report finds that mobile devices are used a lot for activites that are done “on-the-go” (duh!), but “accessing retail” doesn’t even make into the top 10 for smartphones.

eCommerce on mobile is already making money for a lot of people. What this report confirms is that there is still a long way to go. We are only at the beginning of the mobile eCommerce revolution.