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Survey Reveals Mobile Increasingly Playing Role to Enhance In-store Shopping

Mobile Commerce Insider Featured Article

April 04, 2014

Survey Reveals Mobile Increasingly Playing Role to Enhance In-store Shopping

By Michael Guta
TMCnet Contributing Writer

Businesses have spent billions of dollars trying to figure out consumer behavior, and while they have gained some insight, it is still not an exact science. There are as many reasons why a person will purchase a particular item as there are items to purchase, and that is why there are always surveys and studies being conducted on consumer behavior. The latest one was conducted by DigitasLBi, a global digital and technology agency, in a first of its kind propriety research looking at the multiple screens and data streams that affect the purchase behavior of consumers online and in stores across 12 countries.

Smart mobile devices are becoming an important component of the shopping experience for consumers around the world, not only for online shopping, but also for in-store purchases. The study looked at DigitasLBi's global network in: Belgium, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The sample demographic from each country included 1,000 consumers over 18 years old with gender, age, region, and PCS quota from February 2, 2014 to March 6, 2014.

The study was conducted online to determine M-commerce, social media, ROPO (Research Online, Purchase Offline) and lead retail trends among the participants. What it reveals is the impact of mobile devices is felt around the world, although in different degrees.

Key findings of survey were:

  • Smartphones are increasingly important during all stages of the consumer journey
  • New trends in global shopping habits
  • Social media’s influence varies widely by country

The participants in China responded with the highest usage of mobility devices, such as tablets and smartphones, to purchase an item in the last three months at 74.5 percent. The number is dramatically lower in the US, France, Germany and Singapore coming in at 35 percent for the same time period.

Another impact mobile devices are having is comparison-shopping while in brick-and-mortar stores, or 'Showrooming'. Respondents said the price difference is an important consideration to determine if they will purchase the item in the store, another store or online. The breakdown was as follows: 88 percent of consumers said a 10 percent discount will sway them to purchase the product elsewhere while one in three said a 5 percent discount would do the same. When the amount of the discount was not considered, 18 percent left the store after consulting their mobile device for better prices and 28 percent would consider doing so. The number of people that go online while shopping in the store is also highest in China at 79 percent, 37 percent in the US followed by 27 percent in France and 16 in Belgium.

A large portion of consumers or 88 percent said they Research Online, Purchase Offline (ROPO), with 9 out of 10 respondents in 11 of 12 countries saying they practice this behavior, with the US coming in at 89 percent.

The impact of social media is also highest in China with 82 percent saying it has influenced their purchasing decision, with four in five Chinese stating they purchase more products of the brands they follow on social media. In the US, Spain and Italy the average is 55 percent and the remaining countries came in at 42 percent.

"In a few seconds on a smartphone, consumers have access to perfect information about a product and the ability to buy it. Mobile makes digital a part of all shopping experiences. Brands and retailers looking to influence shopping decisions need to adopt a mobile-centric approach," said Chia Chen, SVP, Mobile, DigitasLBi, North America.

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

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