Active Mobile Users Would Switch Stores For 20% Price Reduction

According to a new study by L.E.K. Consulting, more than half of U.S. consumers will be using mobile devices regularly for shopping within the next five years. Two thirds of smart phone owners today have used their devices to make purchases and more than 80% have used them to assist in purchasing decisions through product research at least once in the past year.

The study found that 39% actually make purchases with their handheld devices at least every month (excluding music and video downloads), with 60% using smart phones to assist in purchases every month. These consumers are considered  "Active Mobile Consumers" and those smart phone owners who shop less frequently as "Mobile Window Shoppers."

Active Mobile Consumers tend to be younger - more than two-thirds of Generation Y survey participants (16- to 24-year-olds) fall into this category, compared to 31% of Baby Boomers (ages 45 to 64).

Using a blend of survey findings and market analysis, the report identifies four key findings:

  • 1.  Within the past six months, more than half of Active Mobile Consumers surveyed reported using at least one mobile coupon app, nearly one-third checked a pricing comparison tool, and 29% tapped a loyalty or similar tool, while standing in store aisles. 85% of Active Mobile Consumers would either leave a store and drive to another location upon learning that a different store in the same chain was selling the same item at a 20% discount, or they would demand the lower price at the store they were in, says the report.
  • 2.  More than half of Active Mobile Consumers are willing to share their location with brands in exchange for real-time offers when they "check in," which is twice the rate of Mobile Window Shoppers. And, 37% of Active Mobile Consumers are willing to have brands track them all the time in order to receive special deals. By contrast, only 14% of Mobile Window Shoppers are willing to do the same. The high interest in receiving coupons and access to exclusive sales offers reflects mobile shoppers' focus on getting the best prices.

Preferred Incentives For Location Sharing (Active Mobile Consumers; % of Respondents)

Preferred Incentive

% of Respondents



Reward/loyalty points


Access to exclusive sales


Product availability near location


Personalized product suggestions


Reminders about products interested in


Source: L.E.K.Consulting Mobile Commerce Survey, September 2011

  • 3.  Although consumers are bypassing traditional marketing campaigns, they are highly influenced by the reviews and other posts from members of their social networks. Active Mobile Consumers, and by extension a sizable percentage of Gen Y, are much less influenced by traditional information sources than their older counterparts. Instead, they turn to independent reviews, friends and family for recommendations before making purchases.
  • 4.  Flash sales sites are providing consumers with a steady stream of discounted products and services, and the immediacy of mobile shopping allows consumers to keep up with the latest deals on these sites. More than 40% of Active Mobile Consumers use flash sites, more than twice the percentage of Mobile Window Shoppers. The study found that flash sites are successfully penetrating traditional purchasing decisions for Active Mobile Consumers, and further driving conversion given the immediacy and perishability of the mobile flash proposition. 

Consumer Attitudes Toward Flash Site Purchases


Active Mobile Consumers*

Online Purchasers**

Mobile Window Shoppers***

Not planning on the purchase, but thought it was a good deal




Not planning on the purchase, but trust the products the web site provides




Looking for something similar and thought it was a good deal




Looking for something similar and trust the products the web site provides




Bought quickly because worried it would sell out




Bought quickly because knew it would no longer be available after a certain time




Source: L.E.K.Consulting Mobile Commerce Survey, September 2011 (* Active Mobile Consumers who purchased flash deal using mobile device; ** Active Mobile Consumers who purchased a flash deal online; *** Mobile Window Shoppers shoppers who purchased a flash deal online)


 The report concludes by noting that mobile is quickly becoming a powerful and influential shopping companion for consumers, with a far-reaching impact. Consumers using mobile for shopping have new expectations for pricing standardization across channels, require a steady stream of promotions to remain engaged, and want to capitalize on powerful tools that enable them to get independent recommendations, price comparisons and reviews anytime, anywhere.

To access the complete PDF survey file, please visit L.E.K. here.



1 comment about "Active Mobile Users Would Switch Stores For 20% Price Reduction".
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  1. David Egger from AT&T, September 20, 2011 at 9:35 a.m.

    Great summary of an important survey. It's amazing how quickly things are changing. I've written about NFC and mobile advertising on my blog before and this data could be very valuable in making the case for a company to pursue mobile opportunities!

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