IAB: mCommerce happens inside stores

A new study from the Interactive Advertising Bureau highlights the strong use of mobile by consumers while they are inside a retail store: 73% of respondents state they have used their mobile in store.

The study, Mobile Phone Shopping Diaries (May 2012), focuses on how consumers engage with mobile commerce via smartphones and interestingly, has found that 53% of mobile commerce users have stopped an in-store purchase as a result of using their mobile phone.

Joe Lazlo, senior director of the Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence at the IAB, commented on the findings of the report:

“Mobile shoppers today use their mobiles to save them time or money or both -mobile shopping helps make them more efficient. Since we all love to make the best use of our time and money, these kinds of behaviors are likely to spread and become mainstream really quickly…I predict that savvy marketers will learn to live with, and even court, these newly empowered consumers, who can and do leave a store if they discover a better deal somewhere else”

Mobile Shoppers Savvy on Price Comparison and Product Information

Below shows the breakdown of reasons to why those who stopped a purchase in store as a result of using a mobile:

  • 38% have done so because they have found a better price in a different store
  • 30% because they found a better price online
  • 21% because they found a better item online
  • 13% because the product was not available
  • 11% because they saw a negative review
  • 11% because they could not find information on the product they were planning to purchase

Additional findings of the report detail how consumers use their mobiles whilst in a store:

  • 34% used a device to check prices
  • 32% to take a photo to send to others
  • 20% to check another store in the area
  • 15% checking product reviews
  • 14% checking for location deals
  • 14% showing a store employee an item
  • 13% scanning a barcode

mCommerce is about Convenience and Getting the Best Deal

The most popular answers amongst respondents for what encouraged them to engage in a mobile commerce activity was that using a mobile was the easiest way to do something (24%). Additionally, 22% said they were responding to a mobile ad.

Furthermore, 40% of respondents said they want mobile ads to allow them to browse a brand’s broader product offering whilst 28% want to learn more about the brand being advertised.

30% stated they like personlised ads while 27% said personlised ads are ‘ok’ as long as they have provided permission to receive these ads. The types of personlisation consumers are opened to include location (28%), favourite brands (26%) and sites they have visited online (24%).

mCommerce and Multitasking

Results from the study also highlighted the multitasking behaviour of consumers: 36% of respondents stated they engage in mobile commerce while watching TV, 16% while talking on the phone, 10% while on a desktop or laptop and 7% while listening to the radio.

“The research shows that 64 percent of mobile commerce encounters happened while the consumer was engaged with some other medium besides their mobile phone, so this is indeed a key challenge” comments Mr. Lazlo; he continues:

“One clear opportunity is to encourage the use of mobile as a cross-media tool – for example using audio tagging, bar codes, or other, similar technologies to enable a consumer to easily use their mobile to get more information about a product being advertised via TV, print, or outdoor media.We saw some of that during this year’s Super Bowl, and there’s sure to be more. Consumers still need to learn this behavior, and calls to action must be quick and very clear, but it’s one way to combat the issue of fragmented consumer attention across media.”

47% of mobile commerce actions occur at home; of these, 61% took place in the living room and 20% in the bedroom. 29% of mobile commerce took place while consumers were out and about (the most popular activity amongst this group was searching for store locations) and 10% at work.

What Are Consumers Buying via mCommerce?

The top categories for mobile commerce usage are:

  • Digital categories 76%
  • Clothing 38%
  • Entertainment activities 34%
  • Consumer electronics 33%
  • Health and beauty 31%
  • Food and grocery 27%
  • Furniture and other house wares 23%
  • Tickets 21%

“This study shows how ‘shopping’ isn’t really a distinct activity anymore” stated Mr. Lazlo.

“Instead, mobile shopping activities are really integrated into and happen throughout a consumers’ day, including surprisingly levels while at home, but also while at work, and of course while out and about. As shopping becomes an anytime-anywhere phenomenon, savvy marketers and retailers will need to learn to tailor when and how they advertise to make sure they are getting the right message to the right consumer at the right stage of the shopping process”.

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