Mobile Shopping Research Jumps To 73%, Purchases Follow

Mobile devices are turning into time-saving search tools. In fact, 56% said they like the ability to search and sort quickly, 49% can easily find and assess return policies, and 49% locate ratings and reviews, according to the study. It's one thing to research whether CVS carries L'Oreal, and another to determine which 42-inch TV to buy. 

Product shopping research via smartphone rose from 34% in 2012 to 73% in 2013, per the Local study conducted by the e-tailing group. It explores shopping trends and dependence on resources. It also analyzes the role of smartphones for consumers, and provides insights on how marketers can drive sales, as consumers make purchase decisions about buying from local companies and nearby stores.

Supporting the trend, Local will release by the end of this year an iOS 7 shopping app powered by Krillion data, said Michael Sawtell, president and COO of Local, the parent company. The app will "ping" consumers based on pre-programmed discount alerts for local stores such as when the Bosch dishwasher goes on sale at a local retailer. Voice technology to pull the data will follow.

The Krillion database will power searches on apps, engines and platforms similar to the deal Local inked with Bing in September. The two companies announced a deal to access serve up Krillion's shopping data in search queries, real-time information from about 75,000 retail stores, more than 3,000 shopping categories, and 23,000 consumer brands that represent millions of localized products. It aggregates data through a range of APIs for online and mobile channels.

Sherry Thomas-Zon, VP of shopping at Local, said one in two consumers research product purchases at least half of the time on their smartphone, and 60% research local purchases on their smartphone all the time or very often. About 48% use their smartphone when they intend to make a purchase within two days, whereas 38% said they are researching a purchase decision and location. About 44% said they use a smartphone for purchases within the hour or the next few hours.

Smartphones are multipurpose shopping utilities, giving connected consumers access to essential information that speeds purchase decision-making. About 76% use their smartphone to access information about a local store they want to visit, and 68% use their smartphone to find coupons that are redeemable at local retail stores.

Some 82% of shoppers participating in the study said they will spend up to 15 minutes searching on their smartphone to find the best price, and 59% of shoppers will buy online and pick up the item in store to avoid online shipping charges.

The study suggests that 50% of shoppers will use one device to make online purchases, where as 43% use two. About 67% of consumers use their smartphone to download apps that allow them to browse their favorite retailers, and 65% like to browse and preview emails from retailers and sometimes make a purchase directly on their smartphone.

Some 59% of consumers have checked for sales and specials on their phone, 58% have browsed an online store for product, 58% looked for competitive pricing on Amazon, 55% looked for store information, and 51% checked product ratings and reviews for a product.

The online survey of 1,005 consumers was completed in August 2013, and evenly split across genders. All respondents own a smartphone and had shopped several times per month online, spending at least $250 annually.

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