The Short Time of the Mobile Purchase

The window to reach mobile shoppers may be short with some factors out of retailers’ control.

A study from IBM’s Digital Analytics Benchmark last week looked at shopping behavior around Mother’s Day and found that online mobile shopping traffic increased 43% from a year ago, comprising a quarter of the holiday online sales.

That study found that mobile consumers shopped and bought in three-and-a-half minutes.

Now comes along another piece or research adding heft to the idea that time and timing count a lot in mobile buying.

About a third of smartphone users and 25% of tablet users intend to make a purchase within an hour of their mobile shopping, according to a new study by Nielsen, commissioned by xAd and Telmetrics

Influencing these mobile shoppers in a small window can be a challenge, but an important one since more than half (55%) of mobile retail shoppers ultimately make a purchase, according to the Mobile Path to Purchase study.

Interestingly, the research shows that tablet shoppers generally have longer purchase cycles with deeper research intent with 41% taking a month of more to make a purchase.

As an aside, at the MediaPost OMMA Mobile conference earlier today, discussion focused on tablets being used to drive leads as opposed to engagement, the typical discussion focus.

Other requirements for retailers may be out of their control, such as location of their stores. The majority of smartphone owners are looking for retailers within five miles of where they are at the moment.

This bodes very well for geo-location services as proximity continues to increase in importance. A quarter of smartphone owners already consider the location of a retail business location to be the most important factor when looking for information from their mobile device.

Beyond location, consumers are also looking specifically for retailer details such as phone number and directions, which is reminiscent of early Web usage requirements for retailers.

Importantly, the majority (77%) of mobile retail purchasing still will be in the physical store, according to the study.

The two challenges for merchants are to attract the shopper to their location and then to satisfy them while they are there. Either one can be a deal breaker.

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