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81pc of smartphone owners have accessed a retail mobile site, app: study

By
November 21, 2012

Whether it is for researching or directly shopping, consumers are interacting with retailers in multiple ways on their mobile devices, according to a new study from the Interactive Advertising Bureau.

IAB’s second “Mobile Shoppers: Growing Adoption Shifts Shopping Landscape” study looked at the impact that mobile sites, apps, coupons and offers will have on consumer shopping this holiday season. The study also breaks down which cities in the United States are savviest when it comes to mobile shopping.

“Consumers will use their mobile devices to shop more this holiday season,” said Anna Bager, vice president and general manager at the IAB Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence, New York.

“They are going to use their mobile device for everything from researching, to buying, comparison shopping and buying spur of the moment,” she said.

“In our stressful lives, consumers have found that phones can be a useful tool during the holiday season.”

Shop on mobile
The IAB partnered with Prosper Mobile Insights on the study. It is a biannual study that surveyed 20,000 consumers across fifteen top United States markets in June 2012.

Approximately 68 percent of U.S. consumers own a mobile device, which is classified as a smartphone, tablet or ereader. This is an increase from 57.2 percent in 2011.

Smartphone owners are equally split between males and females, per the research.

More than half of smartphone owners have used their devices inside a store in the past three months. Thirty percent of tablet owners have done the same.

Forty-seven percent of mobile owners have a QR code reader downloaded onto their device.

The report also points to a study from comScore in July, which found that 81 percent of smartphone owners used their mobile devices to access a retailer’s mobile site or app. These users also tend to skew younger in age than desktop users and point to mobile becoming a primary medium for consumers to shop from.

Savvy cities
The IAB also ranked cities on how savvy areas were with mobile shopping. Criteria included information about mobile usage patterns and how frequently consumers turned to their mobile devices to shop.

Both researching and direct sales on smartphones and tablets were looked at.

Houston, TX ranked at the top of the study, making it the No. 1 city for two years.

Seattle and San Francisco took the second and third places, respectively. In San Francisco, 78 percent of the population has a mobile device, making it the city with the highest mobile ownership. Last year, 66 percent of San Francisco residents owned a mobile device.

Los Angeles came in at No. 4 and New York claimed the No. 5 spot.

Rounding out the top ten cities were Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Boston and Philadelphia.

Other top cities included Washington, Detroit and Tampa. Mobile device ownership in Detroit hits 62 percent of consumers.

The study also looked at how mobile coupons sway users to shop by city.

Twenty-two percent of consumers in Houston and New York said that mobile coupons greatly influence which brands and products that they buy. Twenty-one percent of consumers in Atlanta said the same.

Nineteen percent of consumers in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago said that mobile coupons greatly impact their shopping decisions.

At the bottom of the list is Phoenix with mobile coupons greatly impacting only 12 percent of consumers’ shopping decisions.

Mobile bar code reader ownership is highest in Seattle, Houston and Chicago for consumers who have downloaded mobile apps.

The survey results to mobile having a widespread impact across the country.

“I think that we will see more purchases being made on the mobile phone [in the future],” Ms. Bager said.

“The phone is the dashboard to controlling our lives and we can use it wherever we are,” she said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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