By Optism Team, May 11, 2012
Mobile users want a better shopping experience was the key takeaway from a report by advertising agency JWT, who surveyed 465 US mobile users about their shopping experiences during the 2011 holiday season. The survey reported that a majority of the respondents are now using their phones to conduct shopping tasks like getting price and product information, conferring with friends about product choices, sharing product information with the social networks and making mobile purchases.
The goal of the survey was to better understand how consumers were using their mobile devices in retail settings, how they were using their mobile phones throughout the entire buying cycle and how they were using their mobiles in other settings like at home or at work.
The report identified 5 learnings.
1. Mobile Shopping is Not About Purchasing
While mobile shoppers are using their phones to support their shopping experience, only a small minority are using their phones to actually purchase products. Security was cited as the key reason for not making mobile purchases. According to the survey, people are using mobile frequently in different places (stores, friend/family’s house, at work).
2. Men are Using Mobile More Than Women To Shop
According to the survey, the percentage of men using their mobile phone was equal to or higher than women for every shopping task. In fact, the percentage of men using their phones to get more product information and make a mobile purchase was 15-20% higher than women. 44% of women surveyed did not make a mobile holiday purchase, while 19% of men did not make a purchase.
3. Mobile Shopping Experience during the Holidays was Positive
Almost 70% of mobile users surveyed say that they are satisfied with their mobile shopping experience, as users enjoyed skipping crowded holiday lines and being able to purchase while the shopping was “top of mind”. Areas of concern are security, lack of apps, lack of product information and mobile site navigation.
4. Sometimes mobile devices are preferred over the computer
While mobile is the primary device used outside of home and work, retailers should look at mobile sites now as a new shopping channel not a supplemental outlet.
5. Young People are Buying Different Things via Mobile
When asked if they would have purchased the same items online as they did via mobile, the results were split mostly between “All items” and “Some Items”. However, segmenting the results by age saw that people under 30, were 2.5 times more likely to choose “some items” over “all items”. We can infer that younger people are using mobile as more of a browsing device and are open to learning about and purchasing new items while older people are using mobile as another shopping option.
What does this mean for retailers and brands?
First, mobile has now come into its own and should be regarded as a serious and separate channel. Second, while mobile users are for the most part satisfied, consumer expectations will go up dramatically as users will not tolerate a substandard mobile shopping experience. Finally, brands need to recognize that mobile users behave differently across age and gender. As brands start gearing up for the next holiday shopping season, they should heed the results from this excellent report.