Shopping has gone mobile! If people are using smart phones to do everything from pay their bills, check the stocks, and get directions to playing games and even watching TV and movies, why not use your smartphone to shop? There doesn’t seem to be any logical reason not to and according to some recent mobile commerce statistics most people seem to think the same way. If they aren’t using the mobile Internet to make physical purchases, they are using it to research products, compare product prices, and to find deals and coupons. Let’s breakdown the three major ways people are using their smartphones to shop.
A few years back many people questioned the legitimacy and safety of making actual physical purchases through their mobile phones. However, in today’s culture, those doubts are a thing of the past; more and more people are buying via mobile internet. According to a 2011 InMobi study, 74 million consumers in the Unites States already shop from their mobile devices and it is predicted that U.S. mobile shopping sales volume will reach $9 billion by the end of 2011. A convenience so scarcely utilized just a few years ago has now become a commonplace. Year to year mobile sales have tripled, even quadrupled in the past couple years. Furthermore, it is foreseen that by 2015, mobile shopping will account for $163 billion in sales worldwide.
2. Product Research
While many people are indeed purchasing online, there are still those who prefer to get up, go to a mall, and shop for themselves. However, this doesn’t mean they aren’t using their mobile phone to shop. Confused? Allow me to clarify. A 2011 holiday survey on mobile commerce reports that this year, 67% of consumer will use their smartphones to find store location, 59% to compare prices, 51% to obtain product information, 46% to check product availability, and 45% to read product reviews. So despite the fact that many people are not physically purchasing items via their smartphones, the mobile Internet is still an integral part of the shopping process. Additionally, a 2010 Accenture report concluded that 73% of shoppers with smartphones prefer to reference their mobile device while in-store rather than ask a sales associate. Looks as if the smartphone is single handedly depersonalizing the shopping experience.
3. Finding Deals and Coupons
The last big way people are using their mobile phones to shop is regarding deals. People will do anything to save a buck or two now-a-days and retailers are taking advantage of this. Mobile advertising is everywhere. Whether it be via QR codes, pop up ads during mobile game play, or via mobile deal apps like Groupon, people are getting on their phones, scanning barcodes, and even exchanging their location in order to find deals. By the way things are going, the number of active mobile coupon users is expected to be nearly 35 million by the time 2014 rolls around. Mobile coupons are a great way for retailers to help sell extra or out of date inventory, promote sales, and get their name out there to reach out to a larger audience and possible future clientele.
All this being said, with the holiday season upon us, retailers will want to make sure they have a mobile optimized website that is loaded with product information, specials and promos, and whatever else they hope to entice the consumer with because right now more people have smartphone than ever and shopping with a smartphone has never been easier.