LONDON: Consumers in the UK are spending more money when making purchases with mobile phones, but the number of people using mcommerce tools has remained largely "flat" over the last year.

The IAB, the trade body, and Work, the research firm, polled 1,000 mobile users, and found the average transaction completed using this channel increased in value by £5.29 during the last 12 months, to £17.49.

Overall, the typical mcommerce purchase made via a website reached £20.77, measured against a total of £13.15 when using an app.

More broadly, the IAB suggested the number of people buying goods and services from handsets stayed essentially "flat", while attitudes among the audience already engaged in this pastime are also changing.

For example, the share of the sample "experimenting" with this activity stood at just 25%, falling behind those participants that believed such a process constituted the "easiest way to do it", on 42%.

"The same people who were using mcommerce a year ago continue to use it in 2011, but this time are spending significantly bigger amounts on their mobile phone," Alex Kozloff, the IAB's senior mobile manager, said.

Websites are currently the preferred medium for completing transactions, and 40% of shoppers like going directly to a brand site when making acquisitions, with only 17% deploying apps for this reason.

Upon discussing the potential obstacles to buying something on a phone, the number of people arguing the mobile web was "too expensive" fell by 16% year on year.

Similarly, the proportion of contributors who preferred to use PC rather than phones for this purpose declined by 7%.

Near Field Communications, a form of contactless payment made in stores using a phone, were viewed positively by 74% of respondents.

The categories witnessing the highest levels of enthusiasm in this area were travel, mentioned by 57% of interviewees, entrance fees, posting 51%, and drinks and snacks, logging 49%.

"There is clearly a consumer appetite to use mcommerce in store, so it will be fascinating to see consumer adoption of NFC as the technology becomes more commonplace in the UK," Kozloff added.

Data sourced from IAB; additional content by Warc staff