Houston is the nation’s No. 1 city when it comes to “mobile shopping savvy,” according to a new study by the Interactive Advertising Bureau. New York, Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Dallas/Ft. Worth were the other top m-commerce cities among the nation’s 15 largest DMAs. One surprise: the San Francisco Bay Area, home to Silicon Valley, finished toward the back of the pack, at 11th.
To come up with the ranking, the IAB and its Mobile Center of Excellence looked at four criteria: ownership of a mobile device (primarily smartphones or tablets), propensity to be influenced by mobile coupons, owning a mobile retail app, and owning a mobile social media app.
For each data point, the IAB created an index for each DMA relative to the U.S. national average. It then combined them into a single metric, weighting device ownership most heavily, followed by coupon influence and retail app ownership. Social media apps, as conduits for sharing, shopping and other information, received less weight.
The IAB said it came up with the ranking of mobile-centric cities as a way to highlight where advertisers need to quickly embrace mobile strategies as part of their overall plans to attract customers.
Research so far this holiday season has shown an increase in mobile shopping over last year. Data from IBM’s Coremetrics, for instance, showed thta 6.6% of people on Cyber Monday, and 9.8% on Black Friday, used a mobile device to make a purchase -- up from 2.3%, and 3.2%, respectively, a year ago.
The IAB report included other findings on mobile shopping trends as well. It cited comScore data showing people who access mobile retail content are typically younger and more affluent than the mobile average, with 61% under the age of 34 and nearly half earning over $75,000 a year.
The study also shed light on how people use their phones when they shop. In that regard, 15% used their devices to find a store location, nearly 10% to compare prices and to find coupons or deals, and 9% to research product features.
While at a store, nearly 20% texted or called family or friends to ask about a product, 14% took a picture of an item, 11.6% sent a picture to someone, and 7.4% scanned a product barcode. Other activities included finding a store location (6%), comparing prices (5%), and looking for deals (4%).