SAN FRANCISCO: The proportion of US mothers buying via mobile devices has risen sharply over the past year, according to a new survey from BabyCenter.

The pregnancy and parenting site polled 1,117 US women over the age of 18 who were either pregnant or mother to at least one child and who owned a smartphone. It found that 64% of respondents had completed a purchase via mobile in the last month; that compared with 48% a year ago.

Mobile shopping has reached "a major turning point", BabyCenter said, with moms now being more likely than ever to shop via mobile rather than just comparing prices and finding coupons.

Changing behaviour was further emphasised in the finding that 70% had used their smartphone for shopping while they were inside a physical store; 48% said they would purchase items via their device if they could not find them on the racks.

And four in ten agreed that one-click buying had made them more likely to buy items this way.

Scanning, too, has become more important for these mothers: 55% of respondents reported buying items in-store immediately after scanning them with their phones.

They were primarily looking for deals; 64% cited coupons as a reason for scanning items. But 51% scanned products in order to compare prices via apps like Amazon Price Checker, while 38% did so to read product reviews.

The survey also noted several other areas where there has been significant changes in mothers' shopping-related mobile behaviours. More were now using mobile coupons (61%, up 13%) and retailer apps (58%, up 14%).

Further, more were looking up prices online while shopping in a store (56%, up 14%) and photographing something they are considering buying (47%, up 14%).

"It's important for brands to understand that these screens have tremendous pull and influence," said Julie Michaelson, head of global sales at BabyCenter.

"By streamlining the mobile purchase process and offering special deals for those who make use of their smartphone in-store, brands can sell more products by connecting directly with moms on the go," she added.

Data sourced from BabyCenter; additional content by Warc staff