Mobile Shopping Is the New Normal

Mobile marketing is poised for takeoff as smartphone use as a shopping tool increases among consumers, a recent study suggests. According to Baynote’s “2014 Holiday Shopper Survey,” 70% of 2013 holiday shoppers frequently used their mobile device to find a store or information about a store like hours and directions, and 34% used a retailer’s branded mobile app to make a purchase.

The survey findings suggest a paradigm shift in consumer preferences. “As technology becomes easier to use, more and more people are going to use it,” says Marti Tedesco, senior director of corporate marketing at Baynote, a multichannel customer experience solutions provider.

Indeed, consumers polled used their mobile phones extensively during the holidays. Among those responding to the survey, 64% and 62% frequently used their smartphones to compare prices before and while shopping, respectively; 63% frequently used them to determine what to purchase. Additionally, 63% of the 1,000 respondents frequently used their mobile device to receive coupons or promotions. “The main influencers for shoppers [last year] were pricing, promotions, and availability,” Tedesco says.

Consumers, especially millennials, are increasingly influenced by user reviews, as well, with 48% of the surveyed shoppers always or frequently influenced by online ratings and reviews, and 58% frequently using their mobile phones to access them.

With so many customers taking to mobile as part of their shopping, retailers need to ensure that their websites are optimized for mobile, and marketers should use ecommerce and mobile data to better understand customers’ behaviors and preferences. “Ecommerce websites have become the backbone for the brand experience, both online and offline,” says Tedesco. “Retailers should use their own sites more aggressively to stay as informed as their customers are.”

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