Mobile Sales: More Than Just Mcommerce! [Research Insights]

Mobile Is Shoping’s Best Friend Forever [6 Charts]

Contrary to popular belief, mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets, are a shopper’s BFF. About four out of five smartphone and tablet owners have used the device for shopping related activities according to Nielsen. Not surprisingly, consumers employ tablets more for pre-purchase research and reviews while smartphones are utilized on-the-go to locate stores and check prices.

Smartphone & Tablet use to shop Smartphones used close to purchase time


About 19 million US smartphone owners (or 17.4% of owners) completed a purchase via their device, aka mcommerce, during the three-month period ending April, 2012, according to comScore. Convenience and mobile related purchase such as tickets, meals for delivery or pickup, daily deals or discounts and gift certificates seem like easy ways to get customers testing mcommerce. What’s missing from comScore’s list are purchases that require the use of a mobile device such as music, videos, ebooks and games.

comscore what people buy on their smartphones

Mobile is more than mcommerce

When it comes to mobile, marketers must broaden their perspective beyond mcommerce. Mobile usage, specifically smartphones, influences 5.1% of all retail store sales in the US or about $159 billion in 2012 forecasted sales, according to Deloitte research. This is about thirteen times greater than the $12 billion direct mcommerce sales forecasted for 2012. By 2016, mobile influenced sales are expected to more than quadruple to an average of $689 billion per year.  How mobile affect purchase by caegory via deloitte

Showrooming allows for sales conversion

Increasingly, consumers are using their mobile devices in retail locations for a variety of reasons. Retailers, however, are most concerned with the consumer practice of showrooming where consumers check out products in their stores and then buy online. Based on the results of ForeSee’s Mobile Satisfaction Survey, most shoppers turn to their smartphones for information about the retailer, specifically for their mobile website or app. 

Additionally, buyers use their smartphone to check prices often through a price comparison app or website. Depending on the research source, this group is roughly one in three or four consumers.

While this behavior concerns retailers, Deloitte found that shoppers who use a retailer’s dedicated app were 21% more likely to convert than those who didn’t; possibly attributable to an improved shopping experience that aided their purchase decision.

BTW, here’s some additional mobile shopping information.

3 Mobile shopping tips

Here are three mobile shopping tips. [And here’s how to create a mobile marketing strategy.]

  1. Provide prospects and customers with easy-to-access, mobile-friendly information since they’re researching their purchases via online, tablet or smartphone.
  2. Offer both mobile website and app options. With the growing use of both alternatives, allow your customers to use the forum they choose. Ensure these platforms are consistent with your online website, social media and retail establishments to provide a seamless customer experience.
  3. Give mobile consumers the best price. While I’m not a proponent of competing on price, if you’re offering discounts anywhere, give on-the-go prospects the best price to close the deal since they may be in your store or your competitors.

Mobile is changing how consumers shop and it’s critical to be part of the process. Therefore, ensure you’re able to compete with whoever your prospects are comparing you to, regardless of whether you view them as a competitor or not.

What other mobile marketing suggestions do you have and why do you recommend them?

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

Here are some related articles on mobile.

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