Mobile Meets the Master Shopping List

The first step a consumer takes after deciding to make a purchase will likely be anything except buy the product from their smartphone.

This is not to say the phone isn’t highly involved throughout the entire path to purchase, just that there are too many other choices consumers face after making a purchase decision.

This insight is based on a new study conducted by GroupM, which is included in a new publication of GroupM called Next, which I wrote about here yesterday (Mobile Notifications Pretty Much OK for 73% of Consumers).

No matter the age group, purchasing via smartphone is the least common behavior after deciding to make a purchase. Here’s what they do:

  • Add the product to a written shopping list (tops in the 55 and older category)
  • Make a mental note to buy the product (tops in the 14- to 24-year-old group)
  • Buy the product from a desktop or tablet (tops in the 35- to 44-year-old group)
  • Add the product to a digital shopping cart (tops for 14- to 34-year olds)
  • Send an email reminder to themselves (tops for those 14 to 24)
  • Buy the product from a smartphone (tops in those 14 to 24, but below all other activities)



This begs the question of what the future of digital purchasing looks likes, from a consumer behavior standpoint.

“It’s going to become easy to add things to a list,” said Jesse Wolfersberger, director of consumer insights at GroupM Next and leader of the study.

As technologies evolve, adding items to lists could become seamless. A thumbs up? Added to the list. A wink? Added to this list. One tap? On the list. You get the idea.

Some list additions also could become automatic, a la Amazon recommendations based on past purchases or Tivo auto-recordings tuned with past shows watched.

The concept rather annihilates the current concepts relating to shopping cart abandonment rate.

The master list becomes the shopping cart and the new consumer role is to delete items from the list before executing the transaction later, from any device.

Where or how the transaction actually occurs becomes less important than how items are selected and deselected on the master list.

“People don’t want to buy from their smartphone but they do want to do a lot of shopping with them,” said Wolfersberger.

It’s less about the transaction and more about the decision.


This and all the other major issues relating to mobile commerce will be discussed at the MediaPost OMMA mCommerce conference in New York on Aug. 7. You can check out the agenda where you also can register to attend. Will I see you there?

2 comments about "Mobile Meets the Master Shopping List".
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  1. Maryam Mota from TheFind, July 25, 2014 at 1:15 p.m.

    This is really interesting and very spot on. I do buy from my smartphone but I'm "in the business" and probably trust mobile transactions more than the average Jane. Lists are VERY important. And having them available on multiple platforms (from mobile to desktop) can create a smooth experience. Love this. Going to tweet the shop out of it :)

  2. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin, July 25, 2014 at 1:33 p.m.

    Thanks Maryam, much appreciated.

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