Mobile Trends: Consumer Views of Mobile Shopping
By David Dorf on Mar 22, 2011
At the recent e-Tail West conference I previewed the Mobile Trends study that Oracle released today. Mobile Trends: Consumer Views of Mobile Shopping and Mobile Service Providers is the third such survey commissioned by ATG, which was recently acquired by Oracle. Over 1,000 consumers were interviewed regarding their use of mobile devices for shopping. Here are some highlights regarding mobile commerce:
- 48% of all U.S. consumers are using their mobile devices to research and browse products and services
- 38% found a store based on their current location
- 29% of consumers have made at least one purchase via a mobile phone, more than double the number reported in November 2009
And the use of mobile devices continues right into the store.
- 16% compare prices with another brand or store
- 7% look for coupons or discounts for that brand or store
- 6% seek ratings or reviews on a product or service
- 5% collect rewards for visiting a store
The paper itself contains much more data, including breakdowns by age and gender. It also contains valuable information for mobile providers. From the data, I see four clear trends for the retail industry:
1. More and more consumers are using their mobile devices to shop, both on the move and in the stores. This trend should continue as more consumers switch to smartphones, and retailers provide more information via mobile devices. Retailers that don't offer a mobile website or application run the risk of alienating their customers, which are becoming more accustomed to using their mobile devices for shopping.
2. Inside the store, consumers are beginning to expect features previously only available on e-commerce sites. Mobile truly is the bridge between the digital and physical worlds of shopping. Retailers would be wise to look at the entire shopping process from the eyes of their customers, and not view these channels separately.
3. Today's consumer will leave the house without their keys, wallet, and purse, but they'll never leave their phone behind. So it makes sense to integrate payments into mobile devices so checkout can be smoother for both parties. From the survey, 56% of consumers aged 18-34 are interested in mobile payments. Retailers should keep their eyes on Google, Apple, eBay, and Isis to see how payment technology plays out.
4. Mobile and social are beginning to intersect. Consumers want advice while they're shopping so they are using their phones to access ratings and reviews, and in some cases asking their friends for opinions while they shop. Loyalty will be forever changed by the checkin, with retailers giving discounts in exchange for more customer information. Retailers need to find fun ways to involve their customers' friends as part of the shopping process.
On that last point, Oracle Retail has been experimenting with automatically performing check-ins with Twitter, Facebook, and Foursquare when a consumer checks-out at the register. The hope is that a purchase will garner interest from friends, in effect accelerating the dissemination of product ideas.
Mobile has the potential to impact retail in ways that remind me of e-commerce's early days.