By Chuck Martin
Smartphone owners tend to use their phones not much so much to buy but rather to help them decide what to buy.
This can be a subtle but important distinction when looking at mobile shopping behavior.
The overall issue is the role of mobile influence within the Mobile Shopping Life Cycle and some research out today provides yet another bit of insight.
The top planned shopping use by most (53%) consumers with smartphones this holiday season is to look up product information to help make the right purchase, according to a study by Equation Research sponsored by mobile marketing company Vibes.
It strikes me that for holiday shopping, many consumers will be using their phones as an aid to their overall shopping activity rather than as a replacement for it.
Mobile facilitates shopping so that consumers no longer go shopping, they always are shopping, as I wrote about in Mobile Influence. Mobile makes shopping an iterative rather than a serial process.
For example, the Vibes study found that a planned shopping activity for about half (48%) of smartphone owners is to find specific store information, such as location and hours, showing that mobile can act as aid to brick and mortar activity.
About a third (34%) will use their phones as a mobile wallet not to pay but rather to organize coupons and loyalty cards and some (32%) consumers plan to make purchases from their phones, and those buys will be from mobile websites, according to the Vibes Mobile Consumer Report.
For store-related shopping experiences, smartphone owners have varying desires, from wanting to be notified of deals to seeking the most convenient locations, according to the study. Specifically:
- 44% — Want to receive compelling offers and discounts
- 17% — Looking for the best selection of products
- 14% — Will look for the most convenient location
- 13% — Want personalized offers/discounts relevant to their behavior.
The big question around this holiday shopping season is how satisfied mobile shoppers will be once it’s over.