What Mobile Shoppers Want vs. What They're Going to Get

Despite the recent wave of research showing the massive migration of consumers over to mobile commerce, delivering on mobile is hardly at the top of the business menu.

While many companies are focusing on customer experience, the issues that mobile shoppers clearly and repeatedly identify as important to them are not top of mind, based on a new worldwide study.

To distinguish themselves from competitors, more businesses see customer service and customer experience as the best way to do it, according to the Digital Trends report by Econsultancy for Adobe.

The fourth annual study comprised a survey of 6,000 marketing, digital and ecommerce professionals globally.

Over the next five years, here's what marketers said would be the primary way their organization would seek to differentiate from competitors:

  • 44% -- Customer service, customer experience; making it easy, fun to shop from us
  • 28% -- Product/service quality
  • 9% -- Product/service choice
  • 7% -- Mobile; becoming a mobile first company that absolutely caters to the mobile shopper
  • 7% -- Convenience; fast delivery, in-store pickup, multiple payment mechanisms
  • 5% -- Price

When mobile shoppers are surveyed, regularly topping their lists are price, in-store pickup, product information, all accessible from their phones. Those are at the bottom of the marketers’ list of priorities.

An interesting twist in the study was that researchers asked marketers which opportunities, with the benefit of hindsight, actually turned out to be the most exciting during the past year.

While mobile was predicted to be the most exciting opportunity to 18% a year ago, it turned out only to be 16% now. As context, customer experience was seen as the most exciting opportunity to 20% a year ago, it turned out to only excite 17% in reality.

Maybe it’s because so many are doing so much with mobile already, but in selecting the single most exciting opportunity this year, mobile landed third on the list. Here’s what marketers see as the single most exciting opportunity this year:

  • 22% -- Customer experience
  • 15% -- Content marketing
  • 13% -- Mobile
  • 11% -- Personalization
  • 11% -- Big data
  • 7% -- Social
  • 7% -- Multichannel campaign management
  • 6% -- Marketing automation
  • 5% -- Video
  • 3% -- Location-based services

I have to admit that location-based services being at the bottom of the list is a bit of a head-scratcher, although those surveyed were asked to select only one in this case.

The hottest recent item of location technology has been beaconing, although the study found that only 11% of companies with retail outlets are using the technology today. Here is their approach to beaconing:

  • 11% -- Using beacons today
  • 13% -- Plan to use this year
  • 25% -- Exploring beacons but no set date for implementation
  • 32% -- Not yet exploring beaconing
  • 19% -- Don’t know/no opinion

At least marketers are embracing experimentation, with most (69%) saying they will be experimenting with digital this year, compared to 64% last year.

When gauging what will be important for digital marketing over the next few years, most (70%) said having a clear understanding of customer journeys across channels.

Paradoxically, for the consumer, mobile plays a role in every step of that journey.

4 comments about "What Mobile Shoppers Want vs. What They're Going to Get".
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  1. Cece Forrester from tbd, April 3, 2015 at 10:39 a.m.

    Could you please clarify and expand on what the mobile shoppers want? Is it price, or accessibility of price from phones? And are they interested in ways to use the smartphone in the store to access information and help with their shopping?

  2. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin, April 3, 2015 at 10:44 a.m.

    Based on numerous studies, mobile shoppers seek deals, access to product information via their phone, competitive pricing information, Cece. Those who use their phones while in a store want all of those as well. Hope this helps clarify.

  3. Cece Forrester from tbd, April 3, 2015 at 12:09 p.m.

    Thanks, Chuck. Does it seem to you that stores might do better to find ways to engage with mobile shoppers in the store to try to close a sale there, rather than shying away from it on the assumption that it can't be integrated into the customer experience?

  4. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin, April 3, 2015 at 2:02 p.m.

    Research shows that the majority of in-store shoppers would rather turn to their mobile device for info than to a salesperson. Studies also show that shoppers welcome the use of mobile technology in the hands of a sales associate. There really is no one-size-fits-all solution.

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