The Mobile Shopping Life Cycle

Over the last many months, I’ve been researching and writing a new book about the mobile commerce revolution and the dramatic shift in purchasing behaviors due to mobile and tablet penetration.

As many of you are regular readers of this column, I wanted to let you know that the book, Mobile Influence (The New Power of the Consumer), was published today.



In the book, we argue that the traditional sales funnel is being replaced by what I call the Mobile Shopping Life Cycle.

In this new path to purchase, mobile shoppers are active in six phases in the course of an actual purchase.

At each of these six stages, there is the opportunity to sway or influence customer behavior. They are the times, locations and mindsets when businesses can interact with mobile-empowered customers to impact the actual purchase.

These potential moments to alter consumer shopping behavior I call influence points and identifying them can give a business the edge.

Each of the six phases will continue to expand with the increased proliferation of smartphones and tablets, with more consumers joining the ranks of mobile shoppers.

Mobile is a complete game changer that alters consumer shopping behavior like nothing before it. With mobile, people no longer go shopping, they always are shopping.

The six phases of the Mobile Shopping Life Cycle are:

  • THE SETUP: The Pre-buy. Involves early research, often at home.
  • THE MOVE. In Transit. The consumer is on the way to the store or running an errand. Influence points here via geo-fencing.
  • THE PUSH. On Location. In brick and mortar locations, a new asset.
  • THE PLAY. Selection Process. Customers in-aisle near the actual products being considered.
  • THE WRAP. Point of Purchase. One last chance to sway a buyer.
  • THE TAKEAWAY. Post-Purchase. Consumers exchange photos and info about their purchase.

There are various influence points at each of these stages of the Mobile Shopping Life Cycle. In this new shopping cycle, the cusotmer rules.


OMMA mCommerce, July 15, New York. MasterCard, Joule, ScanBuy, Huge, Spyderlynk, Rue La La, BYNDL, Catalina, Giant Eagle, Payvia, Ansible, Moxie Interactive coming. Here’s the AGENDA.

8 comments about "The Mobile Shopping Life Cycle".
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  1. Ron Mulliken from Marchex, June 11, 2013 at 5:43 p.m.

    Interesting...but I didn't see the step identified where mobile consumers are making purchases using their smartphones as...phones. Every day, more consumers are using click-to-call function to drive over-the-phone purchases.

  2. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin, June 11, 2013 at 5:53 p.m.

    Good point, Ron, though we do deal with that a bit in the book, especially via click-to-call types of actions and various other sales triggers. A phone (voice) transaction can occur almost anywhere throughout the Mobile Shopping Life Cycle at most of the inflluence points.

  3. Greg McAllister from Capital One, June 11, 2013 at 7:06 p.m.

    Congrats Chuck! At PushPoint, we call it the Mobile Commerce Lifecycle, or MCL, and use it on our site and in collateral - I would love to talk about ways to build out awareness for the concepts using your domain expertise and our audience of retailers.

  4. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin, June 11, 2013 at 7:46 p.m.

    Thanks, Greg; sure, feel free to contact me, email address is on top right of this blog.

  5. Kevin Horne from Verizon, June 12, 2013 at 4:54 p.m.

    Ah, another "new" cycle that "replaces" the funnel. Sounds the same to me, albeit for a SINGLE CHANNEL (i guess the new omni-channel world died in less than a year of existence).

    And, of course, "the customer rules" this time around. As if she never did before.


  6. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin, June 12, 2013 at 5:11 p.m.

    While you may interpret it as the same, there are obvious and distinct differences, which are beyond omnii-channel or multi-screen, which we're all familiar with.

  7. Jeremy Geiger from Retailigence, June 15, 2013 at 7:11 p.m.

    Congratulations Chuck!

  8. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin, June 16, 2013 at 10:17 a.m.

    Thank you Jeremy, appreciated.

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