Smart Phones

Insight on mobile shoppers based on Forrester slide

Recently Forrester released a report called “Five Mobile Imperatives”. In it, they listed a series of tasks that mobile shoppers often perform. See attached slide. What we found most interesting about the slide is that the complexity of the shopper task is directly related to how far down the purchasing path the shopper is. For example, locating a nearby store is relatively simple, often accomplished through search results or google maps. Something most mobile smartphone users are comfortable doing. But as we move down the list we see that more complicated tasks, such as search for store inventory, is an action a shopper performs who has left the info gathering phase and has moved into the purchasing phase.

How Moms Use Smartphones for Shopping">How Moms Use Smartphones for Shopping

eMarketer smartphone usage stats point out some important behavioral insight. Marketers shouldn’t make the mistake of thinking that just because someone has a smartphone that we will necessarily use the more advanced functionality that the phones provide. Here we see younger moms using their smart phones for inventory checks and downloading coupons. While moms over 45 using only basic level functionality such as store location. Read more.

Tablet Owners are the Serious Mobile Shoppers

When it comes to mobile shopping, tablet owners buy more and claim to have an overall better shopping experience. Read More.

comScore Study Finds Room for Growth in Subscriber Access to Mobile Checkin Services

Source: comScore, May 13, 2011

On Friday, comScore published the results of a new study of mobile social networking check-in service users based on data from its comScore MobiLens service.

According to the findings, there are areas of mobile services and practices that are yet to be widely embraced by the mobile community at large.

The study found that only 16.7 million US mobile subscribers used location-based “check-in” services on their phones in March 2011, representing a mere 7.1 percent of the entire mobile population. 12.7 million check-in users did so on a smartphone, representing 17.6 percent of the smartphone population.

Check-in service users, defined as those accessing services such as Facebook Places, Foursquare and Gowalla, had heavy skews toward 18-24 year olds (26.0 percent) and 25-34 year olds (32.5 percent) in relation to both the total mobile audience and the overall smartphone audience.

Not surprisingly, the study similarly found a strong correlation between check-in service users and the propensity to consume mobile media and access retail sites and shopping guides.

Mobile users presently embracing location-based “check-in” services also displayed other characteristics of early adopters, including a stronger likelihood of owning a tablet device and accessing tech news, when compared to the average smartphone user.

“Although still in their relative infancy, location-based mobile check-in services are seeing rather impressive adoption among smartphone users,” said Mark Donovan, comScore senior vice president of mobile. “The ability to interact with consumers on this micro-local level through special offers, deals and other incentives provides brands with the real-time opportunity to engage consumers through their mobile device.”

Google Smartphone Shopper User Trends

General Smartphone Usage: Smartphones have become an integral part of users’ daily lives. Consumers use smartphones as an extension of their desktop computers and use it as they multi-task and consume other media.

  • 81% browse the Internet, 77% search, 68% use an app, and 48% watch videos on their smartphone
  • 72% use their smartphones while consuming other media, with a third while watching TV
  • 93% of smartphone owners use their smartphones while at home

Action-Oriented Searchers: Mobile search is heavily used to find a wide variety of information and to navigate the mobile Internet.

  • Search engine websites are the most visited websites with 77% of smartphone users citing this, followed by social networking, retail and video sharing websites
  • Nine out of ten smartphone searches results in an action (purchasing, visiting a business, etc.)
  • 24% recommended a brand or product to others as a result of a smartphone search

Local Information Seekers: Looking for local information is done by virtually all smartphone users and consumers are ready to act on the information they find.

  • 95% of smartphone users have looked for local information
  • 88% of these users take action within a day, indicating these are immediate information needs
  • 77% have contacted a business, with 61% calling and 59% visiting the local business

Purchase-driven Shoppers: Smartphones have become an indispensable shopping tool and are used across channels and throughout the research and decision-making process.

  • 79% of smartphone consumers use their phones to help with shopping, from comparing prices, finding more product info to locating a retailer
  • 74% of smartphone shoppers make a purchase, whether online, in-store, or on their phones
  • 70% use their smartphones while in the store, reflecting varied purchase paths that often begin online or on their phones and brings consumers to the store

Reaching Mobile Consumers: Cross-media exposure influences smartphone user behavior and a majority notice mobile ads which leads to taking action on it.

  • 71% search on their phones because of an ad exposure, whether from traditional media (68%) to online ads (18%) to mobile ads (27%)
  • 82% notice mobile ads, especially mobile display ads and a third notice mobile search ads
  • Half of those who see a mobile ad take action, with 35% visiting a website and 49% making a purchase


The findings of the study have strong implications for businesses and mobile advertisers. Make sure you can be found via mobile search as consumers regularly use their phones to find and act on information. Incorporate location based products and services and make it easy for mobile customers to reach you because local information seeking is common among smartphone users.  Develop a comprehensive cross-channel strategy as mobile shoppers use their phones in-store, online and via mobile website and apps to research and make purchase decisions.  Last, implement an integrated marketing strategy with mobile advertising that takes advantage of the knowledge that people are using their smartphones while consuming other media and are influenced by it.

Learn More

To learn more about the study, please join us in a webinar tomorrow where we will present and discuss the research findings in-depth. Register for “The Mobile Movement: Understanding Smartphone Users” webinar on Wednesday, April 27th at 11am PST/ 2pm EST.  To receive the research report, please visit the Google Mobile Ads blog after April 27th to download a complimentary copy of the study.

New Survey Indicates Lack Of Interest In Location-Based Mobile Services

A new survey just published from digital marketing agency White Horse suggests smartphone users are still showing a surprising lack of interest in location-based mobile services.

The report, based on the White Horse Digital Futures Group’s recent survey of 427 US smartphone users, defines immediate opportunities to “test participation incentives, increase social integration, and actively overcome privacy concerns to drive participation,” according to the agency.  The report reveals that more than 60% of smartphone users still aren’t using location-based services, and marketers and location-based service providers have more work to do in establishing the value of the services to the uninitiated.

The report also revealed strong correlation between location-based service usage and heavy social network usage, suggesting the need for brands to strongly integrate their social and mobile strategies to take advantage of early adopter behavior.  The report, dubbed “Lost in Geolocation: Why Consumers Haven’t Bought It, and How Marketers Can Fix It,” shares key findings and detailed recommendations for marketers to improve mobile engagement with location-based services, including Facebook Places, Foursquare and Gowalla.

You can view/download the survey and report here.

Smartphones Are Local Search and Shopping Devices

Source: Ryan Kim, GigOm Apr. 26, 2011

There’s a reason why search companies, advertisers, payment processors and local merchants are so interested in smartphones. It’s because they’re turning out to be powerful and popular tools for people looking to search locally, act quickly and improve their shopping experience. That’s the conclusion of a new smartphone user study commissioned by Google .

Google obviously has a big stake in these results, which were culled by research firm Ipsos OTX from 5,013 U.S. smartphone users at the end of 2010. But the numbers underscore why Google, Facebook, and Groupon — as well as a host of marketers, app makers and merchants — are so hot for smartphones. It’s because they really do fit certain use cases that unlock money-making opportunities.

The survey found 95 percent of smartphone users have looked for local information, with 88 percent of these users acting on information within one day, most often contacting or visiting a business.

This is consistent with other survey results, and it really brings home how intent-driven users are when they search on a phone. They are often looking for something specific, and they’re ready to move quickly. That’s a huge opportunity for merchants and brands to get in front of users who are on the cusp of making a purchase decision. As we’ve noted earlier, Google is already seeing great results with its click-to-call feature in local search ads, which leverages this behavior.

The key point? Smartphone users are ready to take actions: Nine out of 10 smartphone searches end in an action. And search engines are the most commonly visited websites at 77 percent, ahead of social networking, retail and video sharing.

Smartphones are playing a growing role for shoppers, who are wielding them to find deals, pull up research and locate businesses. The survey found 79 percent of respondents used their smartphones for shopping, and three out of four smartphone users made purchases either in store or online using their phones. Seven out of 10 smartphone users turn to their phones while shopping in a store, showing the phone is often in use from the time research begins until the moment a purchase is made.

The survey also found smartphone users spent a median of $300 on purchases in the past year through their smartphone. This is consistent with other news we’ve heard. For example, eBay said global mobile sales hit $2 billion last year, while Scanbuy reported mobile barcode scanning activity was up 16x in 2010 over 2009. This also points to the growing importance of mobile payments, which will be a big battleground for players like Square, PayPal and others.

For advertisers, the smartphone is providing a new chance to reach users who are often ignoring online ads. Seventy-one percent of users conducted a search based on an ad exposure, and 82 percent notice mobile ads, with half  taking some kind of action, most often making a purchase (49 percent) or visiting a website (35 percent). This is consistent with what I’ve been hearing from mobile ad executives, who say mobile ads are a new opportunity because they’re more effective and memorable, particularly more rich mobile ads.

Overall, the survey highlighted how wedded people are to their smartphones. Ninety-three percent of people use smartphones at home, with 39 percent admitting to using their smartphones in the bathroom. The study found 72 percent of users used a smartphone while consuming other media, including a third who watched TV.

That’s what makes the smartphone so potent. It’s with people at all times, and it’s a versatile tool in the hands of consumers, who are only going to use them more and more. The implications for retailers, merchants and advertisers is huge. They need to optimize sites for mobile, make themselves visible to mobile phone users, consider launching mobile apps, and figure out how to engage this mobile audience, because they’re much more informed and active than previous shoppers. For many merchants, it increasingly makes sense to formulate multi-channel strategies that cover mobile, social and in-store campaigns. The smartphone is changing everything, and businesses need to catch up if they want to take advantage of all this upheaval.

50% of mobile phone owners use their devices to shop, Leo Burnett says

From: Bill Siwicki, Senior Editor, Mobile Commerce
Internet Retailer
April 18, 2011

50% of U.S. mobile phone owners use their devices to shop online or to assist while shopping in stores, finds a new report from Arc Worldwide, advertising agency Leo Burnett’s marketing services arm. M-commerce is quickly and decisively changing the traditional shopping experience and posing  a serious ultimatum to merchants: deliver valuable mobile experiences or risk losing customers, the report contends.

“Mobile shopping has created multiple paths to purchase,” says William Rosen, president and chief creative officer of Arc Worldwide. “It has completely transformed the way people research and purchase products. Companies looking to crack the ‘mobile code’ must understand shoppers’ unique demands by category and shopper type.”

The report, “Marketing to the Mobile Shopper,” surveyed 1,800 U.S. mobile phone owners and identifies some key findings Arc Worldwide says merchants should note when implementing mobile shopping strategies.

First, merchants should know there are different kinds of mobile shoppers with varying demands. “Heavy” mobile shoppers are attached to their devices and enjoy experimenting with new apps, while “light” mobile shoppers view m-commerce as inferior to e-commerce and only use mobile for such activities as looking up store hours or using GPS to locate a store, the report says.

“While the majority of recent retail and brand mobile efforts have focused on the needs of heavy mobile shoppers, we learned this group is actually quite small, about 11% of mobile phone owners,” says Molly Garris, digital strategy manager at Arc Worldwide. “There’s a new group of phone owners, light mobile shoppers, whose needs are not being met. Brands often ask me if they should build a mobile web site or mobile app. With these very different types of mobile shoppers, the answer is both.”

But as light shoppers become more familiar with their mobile devices, they will evolve into heavy mobile shoppers, she adds. What’s more, she says, by engaging light mobile shoppers early, with simple solutions, merchants will engender customer loyalty in the future.

On another note, marketers need to create relevant mobile interactions that are in tune with consumers’ day-to-day lives, the report says. This boils down to on-the-go shopping. A customer might be using their phone to shop while waiting to pick up the kids after school, commuting home on a train, or sitting in a waiting room at a doctor’s office. One thing is certain, most m-commerce experts say, customers want speed and ease.

Additionally, mobile shoppers may be in one of those situations, or be standing in a retail store. They may want to buy a new DVD in just a few taps, or they may want more information and customer reviews on an outfit they’re perusing in a fashion store. To reach all types of mobile shoppers, Arc Worldwide says, merchants should address the needs of both customers who are in stores and those on the go.

“Mobile gives companies the power to market in a way that no channel ever has before by uniting the power of digital, promotion, retail and database marketing,” Rosen says. “From researching and browsing to buying and recommending, shoppers expect meaningful and useful mobile shopping experiences. The stakes are only getting higher as more and more shopping moves onto mobile.”