Mobile Shoppers & the World of Passive Data

While there have been numerous recent surveys around holiday shopping focused on the role of mobile in the shopping process, most generally involve asking shoppers a series of questions.

But with mobile technological advancements, researchers are gaining capabilities to gather information outside the traditional Q &A approach providing additional and sometimes interesting and useful insights.

For example, it was determined that foot traffic going by stores in November increased 20% from the previous year and the number of shoppers who enter a store as a percentage of that foot traffic increased 2% from the same time a year ago.

Those findings were from Euclid and are based on foot traffic patterns from 25 million shopping sessions.  Euclid aggregated the information from its traffic counting sensors that measure mobile phones in more than 700 shopping centers, malls and street locations around the U.S.

The data shows just how active consumers were compared to a month earlier, with a 32% increase in shopper foot traffic in November.

In those cases, the data gathered is anonymous and its aggregation is used to provide knowledge to retailers on what works, which window displays best drive shoppers into stores, in-store traffic patterns and the like.

Passive data collection is now being integrated with mobile surveys so that additional information can be attained simultaneously as a mobile consumer answers a mobile survey.

On Black Friday, Survey Analytics collected passive data while shoppers completed a mobile survey, all with their consent.

The traditional survey showed that the top purchases on Black Friday were electronics (43%), clothes (42%), toys (28%) and new phones (19%).

But while consumers were providing those insights by answering questions, Survey Analytics was using passive data collection to learn other things, such as what apps were running on consumers’ phones and which operating system was being used.

The top apps being run by Black Friday shoppers were Amazon, by 11% of shoppers, and Facebook by 9%. It also showed that 9% were using Google Chrome.

“We realized that users probably don't use as many apps concurrently as we thought, although this is in a context of a very busy shopping experience,” said Andrew Jeavons, CEO of Survey Analytics.

The results also showed that 82% of shoppers were using Android while 18% were running Apple’s iOS.

Background information that can be captured passively include GPS location, app usage, battery life, memory, 3G/4G network connection, disk space, IP address, retina display and operating system.

It just may be that some of the more interesting future mobile commerce survey results will come from behind the scenes.

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