Consumers are becoming increasingly comfortable with the notion of mobile commerce, so much so that internet analytics company, comScore, has had its say on the subject through newly released research.

According to data from the firm’s MobiLens service, one in seven (14.6%) smartphone users in some of Europe’s leading countries purchased services or products on their device during August this year, a figure that is in the midst of a rapid ascent.

Since August 2012 users buying items on smartphones has risen 37% across France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK. In these countries there are now 22.8 million users, up from 16.6 million users a year ago.

Clothing Most Popular

Clothing or accessories has been rated as the top retail category because of how it persuades consumers to reach for their smartphones the most. Its 5% audience share beats that of consumer electronics or household appliances (4%), which matches books (4%).

Smartphone uptake is beginning to fall in these five EU countries. The total smartphone audience in this region topped out at 156 million, whereas in October 2012 it was 132 million, which itself was a bigger step on 2011’s 98 million figure.

The volume of consumers accessing retail websites varies greatly between  the ‘EU5’ countries. Spain’s comes out on top for growth. Its market is growing the fastest at 67%, with more than three million consumers accessing retail sites on their mobile.

Spanish Smartphone Increases

In comparison, the UK has more than tripled the smartphone audience of Spain with just under 10 million, yet its year-on-year growth of 30% is less than half that of Spain. To provide some context, the UK has a 28% smartphone share and Spain has 12%.

ComScore has weighed in on the subject of showrooming, which has been generating news and opinion on PerformanceIN lately. Its figures put photo taking as the most popular smartphone activity for consumers wandering around brick and mortar stores.

More than 36 million smartphone users in five of Europe’s top markets take pictures of a product in a retail outlet and nearly a quarter of users (24%) did so during the month of August. Friends and family were getting involved, with 14% choosing to send out a picture of the product for a second opinion.