Mobile Not Just For Planning Anymore

Marketers -- particularly those targeting the affluent -- may want to make sure their systems are optimized not just for mobile shopping, but also for mobile purchasing, as consumers become more accustomed to using their smartphones to buy products. 

According to research from Experian Marketing Services, affluent consumers (those with household incomes over $100,000) are 12% more likely to purchase food products through their phone (and 29% more likely to do so through their tablet), as well as visit the Web sites of popular restaurants and the leading online reservations sites.

“We’re certainly seeing a growth in mobile phone use overall [largely due to] its convenience,” Alex Schumacher, vice president of marketing and consumer insights at Experian, tells Marketing Daily. “You’ve seen a couple of different organizations that have tried to [break through] in creating the simplicity of making purchases via the mobile phone.”

Top among those organizations are charities and causes, which have gained traction among affluent consumers in part because many charitable organizations and causes have made donating as simple as sending a text message. There’s a message in there for marketers, Schumacher says.

“One-touch purchasing [such as that from Apple or Amazon] takes into consideration what the consumer is trying to do and builds around that,” Schumacher says. “The marketers that are thinking holistically and thinking about what the consumer is trying to do and integrate that into the experience [will be successful].”

Optimizing mobile as a purchase channel isn’t only for the affluent, either. Consumers of all demographics are showing more affinity for using their phones. According to Experian, the number of consumers who say they’re interested in receiving advertising on their device has increased 45% since 2010, and nearly 10% of phone owners now say they are likely to purchase products they see advertised on their phones, up from 6% four years ago.

However, not all industries will want to use mobile in the same way. Tablets and PCs are more likely to be used for travel because there’s more planning and comparison than with simple purchases.

“Travel is an area that is lagging behind because booking travel is an exercise in planning, rather than just purchasing,” Schumacher says. “A lot of businesses are trying to figure out what are the right things to put together to add value for the consumers.”

"Smartphone user" photo from Shutterstock.

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