Mobile Shoppers End Up in the Store

by Net Future Institute on July 22, 2014

By Chuck Martin

While mobile shopping rises, brick and mortar stores continue to rule.

The type of store also can make a difference, as the categories of products bought by mobile devices also differ, according to a new study.

As might be expected, more people use mobile devices to buy digital content while most consumers (78%) prefers physical stores for general food purchases, 67% for over-the-counter medications and 65% for clothing, according to a survey by Harris Poll.

The study comprised an online survey of 2,241 U.S. adults, members of a panel who agreed to participate in Harris Poll surveys.

Consistent with other studies, Harris found more mobile transaction activity on tablets, though the category patterns of items bought are similar.

Among smartphone owners, two in 10 have purchased digital content while 3% have made general food purchases using their phone. Here’s what is purchased by smartphone owners:

20% — Digital content
9% — Clothing
9% — Personal electronics
8% — Accessories
7% — Cosmetics
6% — Household electronics

Digital content also leads the category for tablet purchases with the fewest (5%) using the device for general food purchases. Here’s what is purchased by tablet owners:

36% — Digital content
22% — Clothing
19% — Accessories
16% — Personal electronics
12% — Cosmetics
9% — Household electronics

Research continues to show that consumers still want to go to stores to see and touch the goods. Harris also found that getting the physical goods delivered can be a driver for online purchasing, with most consumers (81%) saying free shipping would likely impact their purchase.

Another influence on the decision to buy digitally for most (70%) is free postage for sending in returns or exchanges.

Consumers continue to research and shop with mobile, but at the end of the day they want to make sure of what they’re getting.

A store can do that. And so can a trusted brand over mobile.

All the major issues relating to mobile commerce will be discussed at the MediaPost OMMA mCommerce conference in New York on Aug. 7. You can check out the agenda where you also can register to attend. Hope to see you there.


Chuck Martin is Editor of the mCommerce Daily at MediaPost and writes the daily MobileShopTalk column. He is the author of “Mobile Influence,” “The Third Screen,” and “The Smartphone Handbook.” He is CEO of Mobile Future Institute. Chuck Martin is a frequent Mobile Keynote Speaker and Mobile Marketing Speaker internationally. He also addresses Social Media in Mobile.


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