Influence along the Mobile Shopping Journey

The digital shopping journey is more complex than it may look.

Many studies measure the impact of mobile devices on shopping based on consumers buying from the device.

The reality is that mobile commerce comprises much more than that, with the influence on the ultimate sale not always being highly visible.

It should be no surprise that the shopping process has become more cyclical with mobile, which makes buying portable and continuous, with no beginning, middle nor end

Mobile consumers are shopping all the time, as I’ve been writing about here for some time (The Mobile Shopping Life Cycle).

The latest U.S. Mobile Path-to-Purchase Study by Nielsen for xAd and Telemetrics paints a holistic picture of the mobile shopping process.

The study is yet one more indicator of the impact of mobile all along the purchase journey, with mobile accounting for more than half (51%) of total time online. Some of the stats:

  • 53% of consumers use smartphones for in-home shopping and exploration
  • 42% of consumers consider mobile the most important resource for a purchase decision
  • 60% of consumers used a smartphone exclusively to make a restaurant-related purchase decision

The key is that mobile is being used all the time, no matter how or where shopping is occurring.

For example, 55% of consumers looking to buy a car use mobile at the start of the process and 21% continue to use it throughout. Similar patterns were found for restaurants and entertainment.

The opportunity for marketers is the reach mobile shoppers at what I call influence points along the way.

A consumer researching potential purchases is one influence point, a time when shoppers are exploring and open to suggestions. The study found that on their most recent visit or search on their smartphone, almost half (49%) of them were looking to make a purchase within the hour.

And that short window can be used to influence what a consumer buys in a store later that day, whether or not a retailer notices.

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