Price and social factors key with rising number of mobile retail buyers: Report

New Millennial Media/comScore report into mobile retail consumers and mobile marketing also finds consumers are using mobile devices at all stages of the purchasing cycle

Today’s mobile media audience is split equally between men and women, is driven primarily by price and social factors, and is using their mobile device through all stages of the purchase funnel, a new report claims.

According to the latest Mobile Insights for Retail Brands Mobile Intel series study, produced by mobile ad vendor Millennial Media and comScore, the mobile retail audience has grown more than 300 per cent in the last two years.

The study found the time spent by consumers on mobile retail sites using a smartphone or tablet device now accounts for just over half the total retail time spent on digital properties, and exceeds the time spent on desktops. Despite this, comScore said its research showed mobile extended, rather than cannibalised, the desktop retail audience by 45 per cent, helping consumers continue their shopping experience across multiple devices, and ultimately driving purchases.

Most of the mobile retail audience owns a smartphone and is almost equally split across Android and iOS devices. The highest usage age bracket for mobile retail on smartphones was 25-34 year olds, followed by 34-55 year olds.

The study also looked at tablet owners and reported 47 per cent are accessing retail content today. More than half have a household income of US$75,000 a year and 35 per cent have more than $100,000 annually.

While men and women are both shopping on their mobiles, behaviour differs between the sexes when they’re in-store. Women for example, are a third more likely to engage in social behaviours, while men are two-thirds more likely to scan a barcode or compare product prices.

However across all mobile users, price and social factors have the most impact on retail purchases and the majority overwhelmingly use their mobile phones to search for a better deal.

“Retail brands can utilise mobile advertising to target in-store shoppers using methods that address these influence factors,” the study’s authors advised. “Store locators may be a more effective tactic to use with men, while ads linking to a social network may be more effective with women, and can be targeted accordingly.” Targeted coupons and promotions were also key offerings for retailers.

When it comes to actually making a purchase on a mobile device, the most common goods or services are clothing or accessories (39 per cent of males surveyed and 54 per cent of women), followed by tickets (24 per cent of men and 24 per cent of women); and books (excluding e-books; 23 per cent of men and 29 per cent of women). According to comScore data, 37 per cent of mobile users who made a purchase on their device spent $50-$200.

Overall, retail m-commerce dollars currently account for 11 per cent of total digital retail spend, the study stated.

Perhaps unsurprising was the type of retailers leading the charge in mobile advertising. Millennial Media and comScore’s study and global platform observations across thousands of mobile ad campaigns found national retailers were the biggest investors (34 per cent), followed by computer and electronics retailers (21 per cent). Online retailers accounted for 10 per cent of the retail vertical spend.

Retailer advertisers were also diverse in their approach to campaigns. Compared with the general advertiser mix, retailers are using m-commerce, site search, interactive elements store locator/maps and retail promotion activities at higher rates. The predominant driver is increasing foot or online traffic.

The Millennial Media/comScore study was based on two US surveys of more than 32,000 respondents and 6800 users in March 2013; aggregated data of 12,000 users across five European country surveys; comScore’s Mobile Metric 2.0 Unified Digital Measurement; and Millennial Media platform data.

Top 5 tips for retail brands
  1. Know mobile’s role.
  2. Invest in a branded application – these can help create a clean and easy mobile experience for customers, while also providing essential feedback and consumer information to the retail advertiser.
  3. Invest in mobile payment technologies.
  4. Engage and interact – retailers can benefits from video, voice and dynamic rich media features.
  5. Target audiences

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