InMobi research finds that 72% of Kenyans purchase on mobile devices

Press Release

Recent research by InMobi shows that 72% of Kenyans purchase on mobile devices compared to 59% of Africa mobile web users that have purchased digital or physical products through their mobile devices

Research by InMobi, the world’s largest independent mobile ad network, reveals that African mobile web users prefer the mobile channel (46%) to their Desktop (10%) and even In-store (44%) when shopping for Apparel, Consumer Electronics and Entertainment Tickets. This clearly highlights the shift to ‘shopping on the move’ across Africa.

Surprisingly, non-smartphone users have an even higher preference of browsing and shopping using their Mobile versus Desktop than smartphone users.  This signifies the higher dependence on mobile devices among feature phone users as it’s their primary means to digital content in many cases.

The study conducted among 3,100 African mobile web consumers, found that 51% of Kenyans have only ever purchased digital goods via their mobile device.

Commenting on the study, James Lamberti, VP Global Research & Marketing at InMobi, commented that “Mobile shopping is becoming increasingly commonplace in Africa.  It’s an exciting time for the consumer, retailer, and manufacturer as mobile shopping solutions will become more accessible, intelligent and compelling to use.  With the high level of consumer acceptance a new mass reach retail channel has emerged setting up huge opportunities in the world of mobile advertising. ”

Most popular purchases from mobile devices in Kenya:

Product% Buying
Digital Goods66%
Entertainment Tickets12%

Full results of the study, conducted in 14 countries among 15,000 consumers, will be released in a global research roadshow to leading agencies, brands, analysts, and journalists. For further information, please visit www.inmobi.com

About the Study

The study, entitled “A Global Consumer Perspective on Mobile Shopping”, was conducted among 15,000 consumers in 14 countries in North America, Europe, Africa, and Asia during February and March 2011.  Consumers participated in the study directly through their mobile devices offering the mobile ecosystem a point of view on mobile shopping among mobile Internet users.

About InMobi

InMobi is the world’s largest independent mobile advertising network. With offices on four continents, it provides advertisers, publishers and developers with a uniquely global solution for advertising. Its network is growing fast and now delivers the unprecedented ability to reach 314 million consumers, in over 200 countries, through more than 35 billion mobile ad impressions monthly. InMobi was recently selected as the 2011 Always On Top 100 Mobile Companies in Silicon Valley.

InMobi is venture-backed with marquee investors including: Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers and Sherpalo Ventures. The company has offices in Nairobi, London, San Francisco, Bangalore, Tokyo, and Singapore.

To learn more, please visit www.InMobi.com/research, follow us on Twitter @InMobi, or read our blog at www.InMobi.com/InMobiblog/

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  1. Maureen
    June 20, 2011 at 9:06 am — Reply

    Do 72% of Kenyans have mobile devices? I stand to be corrected, but I believe that mobile penetration in Kenya stands at about 60%. If that is true, then you have more Kenyans making mobile purchases than the number of Kenyans owning mobile devices.

  2. June 20, 2011 at 9:12 am — Reply

    Do they mean 72% of Kenyans who shop online? I find it hard to believe that it could be 72% of Kenyans of the general population.Of course as one reads along, one realizes that the study was conducted among African mobile web consumers but this should probably be explicit in the heading otherwise it becomes a misleading headline.

  3. June 20, 2011 at 9:50 am — Reply

    I think that research is greatly skewed. Here’s where you dont generalize aftr dealin wt 3100 pax only – especially whn yu dont spread the collection of data. 51% of middle to upper class peeps might have paid KPLC & paid for clad using their MPESA?Airtel Money, but that wouldn’t constitute m-commerce in its truest sense.

  4. June 20, 2011 at 2:58 pm — Reply

    Tall tales… This is supposed to happen where we are yet to get a reliable and cost effective payment platform / checkout & delivery process? Where we still have data rates unfriendly for the smart phone user? The current environment does not foster the growth of any kind of electronic commerce, just classified ads.

  5. June 21, 2011 at 3:10 am — Reply

    3100 Africans were the sample? so how many among them were Kenyans for the research to conclusively deduce that 72% of Kenyans (abt 40 million of us)purchase via phones? What is wrong with this picture? I think for a company to be seen to be credible, you have to invest more on your research and localize to your intended market.

  6. Surag
    June 22, 2011 at 1:28 pm — Reply

    Thanks for all the interest in this report, Surag with InMobi here.

    The key is that the research was done among mobile web users within Kenya, which is highlighted in the first line. It should have been made more clear that we are referencing Kenyan mobile web users not the entire population or even the entire mobile user base. Per Informa data estimates, there are about 25M mobile users in Kenya of which approximately 25% use the mobile data services. Therefore nearly 5.5 million people in Kenya use the mobile web and would be part of the population considered in this research.

    Don’t hesitate to reach out with any other questions. Research at inmobi.com.

  7. Isis
    June 23, 2011 at 3:42 pm — Reply

    I work with Surag who has clarified that the research was conducted with mobile Internet users. Thus, the findings reflect the behavior of this group and not all mobile users. And to address one other question raised here – Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa are the African countries included in the survey which had 3,100 respondents total, split roughly evenly amongst those 3 countries. I’d also like to note that we have a local presence with offices in Nairobi and Joburg (I manage the Africa region). We’ve done previous research on consumer acceptance of mobile advertising in Africa and will be doing more late this year. Our aim is to help derive insights on consumer behavior and preferences within the mobile web environment given the nascent state of the industry.

  8. July 7, 2011 at 2:52 pm — Reply

    Isis and Surag – thanks for the clarification. Perhaps the blogger ought to be more proactive in responding to issues raised on his blog as well…

    • July 8, 2011 at 3:53 am — Reply

      @Otieno the best thing here is that InMobi responded to you directly and being the owners of the information provided on my blog they are best placed to respond. This not happen very often in my experience.

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