By Rieva Lesonsky
The just-passed holiday shopping season brought home to small retailers and e-tailers the power of mobile shopping. A recent survey from SapientNitro-GfK took a closer look at just how the growing popularity of mobile devices is affecting consumer shopping behavior.
More than one-third (39 percent) of the approximately 1,000 consumers surveyed said that digital devices have “enriched” their shopping experience during the holiday season. Among younger consumers aged 18 to 24, the percentage was even higher, with 47 percent agreeing.
Consumers also used the word “empowered” to describe how shopping with mobile devices made them feel. Overall, 38 percent said the devices made them feel empowered. Among tablet owners, 56 percent felt empowered; among consumers 18 to 24, almost two-thirds (64 percent) felt this way regardless of what type of device they used.
In addition to actually making purchases, 67 percent used mobile devices to browse for or research items (up from 44 percent in 2010); 60 percent used them to compare prices (up from 40 percent in 2010) and 48 percent used them to look for deals (up from 35 percent in 2010).
The study says GPS-enabled mobile computing is an area to watch for mobile shopping in the future. The survey asked about specific mobile applications and features and found:
- 31 percent use the GPS/location feature on their device to shop
- 30 percent use mobile apps to search for or purchase products
- 20 percent looked or posted something on Facebook, Twitter or other social networks to get advice on products or find products
- 19 percent used a QR code to get information about a product
- 18 percent used a mobile coupon at point-of-purchase
Among tablet owners, however, this behavior was far more prevalent: 42 percent had used a mobile app to shop for or purchase products, and 41 percent had used a QR code to get information about a product.
“Imagine the day when you walk into a store and the retailer already knows something about you based on location-aware services,” said Davey. “The implications for retailers — in terms of targeted promotions or in-store navigation — are fascinating.”
Image by Flickr user Mosman Council (Creative Commons)