Study: Mobile Shoppers Research, Buy, Evangelize

Discussion
Aug 01, 2012

New research shows that consumers who shop with mobile devices in addition to using other channels not only spend more, but they are less price sensitive than others who do not shop with a phone or tablet. Another bonus for retailers, according to the July Mobile Retail Insights report from Greystripe, is that these same consumers like to share the love by writing more product reviews than their non-mobile counterparts.

"Mobile is key throughout all stages of the purchasing process, allowing consumers to research products, make mobile purchases, and share product reviews post-purchase," Kurt Hawks, general manager at Greystripe, told Mobile Commerce Daily.

So how do mobile shoppers compare to those who don’t shop with phones?

  • Thirty-seven percent of mobile shoppers visit a website or application first for product information compared to 28 percent of traditional shoppers.
  • Seventy-one percent of mobile shoppers redeem retailer coupons versus 94 percent.
  • Forty-nine percent of mobile shoppers regularly write product reviews versus 31 percent.

"Based on the results of this study, retailers and retail brands that are not already focusing heavily on the mobile channel would be wise to move in that direction," Mr. Hawks told BizReport.

Greystripe’s research reinforces numerous other studies on mobile consumers.

In April 2011, Arc Worldwide reported that roughly half of all phone owners were using the devices to shop. While 80 percent of these were considered light shoppers, much of that was due to the perception that mobile was an inferior technical option to shopping with a personal computer.

"If these light mobile shoppers really start engaging and evolve into heavier mobile shoppers, that’s going to increase the mobile shopping population by 50 percent," Molly Garris, digital strategy manager at Arc, told Reuters at the time.

Discussion Questions: How important is it for retailers to develop an end-to-end strategy to fully engage with mobile consumers? Where do you see the greatest opportunities in the purchasing process for retailers to connect with consumers using mobile devices?

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12 Comments on "Study: Mobile Shoppers Research, Buy, Evangelize"

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Dan Berthiaume
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Dan Berthiaume
5 years 17 days ago

The importance of a comprehensive strategy to engage mobile consumers can only be described as “vital.” Mobile is already supplanting desktop/laptop as the primary means of Internet access and more and more daily activities are shifting online, mostly due to the proliferation of mobile and social technologies. Retailers should offer sophisticated mobile loyalty programs that recognize customers when they are in or near a store, offer targeted promotions, and also provide “gamification” features such as prizes for customers who get the most mobile check-ins in a week, for example.

Ken Lonyai
BrainTrust

It’s hard to rely on studies unless you truly understand how they were conducted. While this one is interesting, it goes against all the talk and perception (and studies?) stating that people showroom to get the best prices.

This basic discussion keeps getting rehashed with every new shade of retail/mobile information and the answers to the queries are still the same: retailers must take charge of their customers and provide experiences that benefit the customer at every turn, including/especially mobile. Clearly, even if there were no such thing as mobile, retailers need to have an end-to-end strategy to fully engage with shoppers in an age of the “empowered consumer.”

Jason Goldberg
BrainTrust

If you’re involved in any form of digital marketing, at this point you need to be thinking about a Mobile First strategy. I.e., all your digital marketing efforts need to be evaluated and optimized for users of mobile devices, before you consider the experience for desktop/laptop users.

All digital marketing tools are trending towards being used primarily by mobile users. Web Search will be over 50% mobile by 2013. Mobile Web browsing will be over 50% by 2014. Social is already over 50% mobile.

Mobile users are not different users than desktop users, they are the same user in a different context. Usually closer to making a purchase decision. Desktop searches are usually one week away from a purchase, where mobile searchers are one hour away, for example.

As a bonus, being mobile first forces us to focus our messaging on the most important elements (due to the smaller screen real estate) which ironically usually improves their effectiveness for touch points (including desktop).

Ben Ball
BrainTrust

The most prevalent pitfall in the application of research is to equate correlation with causality. Note that we said “application” — it is not the researcher’s fault if we use their results recklessly.

It seems very logical that more enthusiastic embrace of mobile technology would be highly correlated with more engaged and active shoppers, who tend to spend more money and buy more stuff.

Having said that, it doesn’t necessarily matter whether mobile use is causal or correlated for the retailer. All we have to know is that good shoppers use them. That in and of itself makes exploiting the mobile technology with which these shoppers are enamored a smart strategic move.

The key to success is to use the tool (mobile) to communicate and reinforce the core values and strategy of the brand. Don’t try to change who you are to “be mobile.” Lehman’s sells non-electric living needs from a hardware store in Kidron, Ohio — a largely Amish community. Over the years it has successfully adapted to catalog sales, the internet and now mobile technology. But it is still Lehman’s and it still sells candles instead of Kindles.

Paul R. Schottmiller
Guest
Paul R. Schottmiller
5 years 17 days ago

I do think that there is a bit of a tendency to overestimate the current impact when you look at retail and consumer segments as a whole. However, the future trends lines around adoption and usage are steep, and it is essential for retailers to understand the role (and potential role) of the smartphone in delivering their value proposition to the customer.

The big opportunity areas in the near term will be mobile POS and marketing/promotion. As the geo location capabilities improve (precisely knowing where someone is), big opportunities will emerge to more closely align the point of need with the point of purchase. This isn’t exclusively a mobile opportunity, but mobile is a critical element.

Liz Crawford
BrainTrust

The most unique opportunity to connect with shoppers who are using mobile devices is location-based incentives. But in terms of end-to-end mobile marketing, it is something that is experimental for now, but will be de rigeur in five years.

Ralph Jacobson
BrainTrust

Whether or not the retailer or CPG manufacturer is proactively involved with and/or has a defined mobile strategy, those mobile shoppers hold the most potentially pervasive loyalty of any shopper. The effort to capture and monetize the mobile shopper needs to center around the brand culture. Take the lifestyle aspects of the brand and make the mobile channel more brand-driven rather than product-driven.

gordon arnold
Guest

Building a website that is multilingual, packed with information, easy to use and enjoyable is only half of the equation. The other half is putting the site out there for “all” to understand and use. Apps are very much in vogue today, but there are a lot of them and they aren’t as easy to maintain and find anymore. When a product in the IT industry is cluttered or convoluted, it is going to die soon.

Smartphones and tablets are in a race for number one. Instead of worrying about that, I would be keeping an eye out for the next one trick pony that sets the world on its heals so that I could get on board with whatever it is too.

Martin Mehalchin
BrainTrust

It’s not just important, it’s critical. We are at the beginning of a long-run trend toward a mobile-first world and now is the time to get your organization ready and get in the game. Where the opportunities lie will vary by category and retailer; the key is to understand who your customer is, how they shop and design your mobile offering from there.

frank ramirez
Guest
frank ramirez
5 years 17 days ago

While thought provoking, CI observation without method, an absence of BI prioritization or industry specification, and no functional recommendation limits the value of this information. Also, too much pure “if ” speculation. Lastly, it’s typical to hide behind percentage as a unit of measure when sample size is suspect.

Net, give us the details! We can not only handle the truth — we want it.

Mike Osorio
Guest
Mike Osorio
5 years 17 days ago

Noting surprising here. Retail has always been about location, location, location. And more than ever, the consumer is located on their mobile device. So if you are not there with them, in a compelling and brand-right way, you are in effect choosing not to engage with your consumer where they are.

Christopher Krywulak
Guest
Christopher Krywulak
5 years 16 days ago

It is crucial for retailers to engage with consumers on all channels, no matter the terminology for doing so (end-to-end, multichannel, omnichannel… etc.). The beauty of the mobile channel is the ability to notify customers of a promotion/incentive that is relevant/valuable to them, while they’re on the go or (in the case of location-based services) when they’re near your store. The greatest purchase-process opportunities are the ones that bridge the gaps between different channels (online, mobile, and in-store) to deliver the best, most convenient experience to customers. In-store pickup of online/mobile purchases is a good example of such an experience.

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