How did m-commerce wrap up 2011? According to a post-holiday study from Motricity, nearly four in 10 consumers (38%) used their mobile devices to purchase a gift, followed closely by using a digital coupon or signing up for a coupon (37% each).

Almost three in 10 maintained a digital gift list, sent gift ideas to friends, gave contact information to a retailer or rated a product or service. The Motricity survey was conducted online from Dec. 27 to Jan. 3 by Wakefield Research among 664 U.S. adults who own a smartphon and/or tablet.

Younger people were the most likely to make mobile purchases, with 41% of 18- to-34-year-olds buying at least one gift from their tablet or smartphone during the holiday season. Despite the abundance of location-based deals and “secret” online coupon codes, convenience rather than savings mattered most for mobile shoppers.

Only 16% said savings was the biggest benefit of mobile, compared to about a quarter that cited its multitasking features and ability to help them avoid crowds. Overall, 93% said they had a positive mobile shopping experience over the holidays and more than two-thirds (64%) predict they will use their mobile device to shop more often in 2012.

Separate data released by IBM on Jan. 10 showed that the proportion of mobile retail traffic and sales doubled in December compared to a year ago. Mobile traffic as a proportion of all online sessions last month increased to 14.6% from 5.6% in December 2010, while mobile sales rose to 11% of online sales from 5.5% in the year-earlier period.

The iPhone and iPad drove the most retail traffic, while the iPad generated more mobile purchases than any other device.

In another sign of growing m-commerce activity, eBay CEO John Donahoe said gross merchandise volume on mobile devices in 2011 hit $5 billion for eBay and $4 billion for its PayPal unit. He expects those figures to increase to $8 billion and $7 billion, respectively, in 2012. Nearly 900,000 eBay shoppers made their first purchase via mobile last year, more than double the total in 2010.

Source: MediaPost