Majority of US Consumers Use a Mobile Device To Help Make Purchasing Decisions
Mobile devices are playing a more crucial role than ever before in influencing consumers' shopping decisions at the point of sale and across every stage of the purchase funnel, according to a joint survey conducted by Sybase 365 and the Mobile Marketing Association.
This survey of 1,000 adults in the USA found that mobile's influence over consumer shopping behaviors is far greater than it was a year ago.
As confirmed in the study, a vast majority (87%) of respondents reported that they will use their mobile device to change the way they shop this holiday season. Additionally, 50 percent of consumers plan to make a purchase with their mobile device this holiday season either through mobile web, apps, at the point of sale (POS) or using SMS/text or voice on their device. Consumers also plan to use their mobile devices for comparing prices, researching deals and coupons, locating product reviews, avoiding long shopping lines, and tracking loyalty points. In a similar survey conducted by Sybase 365 and the MMA a year ago, 62 percent of respondents said they would use their mobile device to help them make purchasing decisions over the holiday season, thus indicating that consumers today are more eager to use their mobile device as a tool of transaction.
While mobile commerce platforms continue to gain traction in terms of consumer use and adoption, the study pinpoints areas to evolve the overall shopping experience. Sixty-one percent of consumers would be more willing to use their mobile devices to influence their purchasing decisions at the POS if improvements were made to the current consumer experience. Some of the improvements that consumers would like to see include more accurate results that are relevant to their shopping habits and exact location (48%), more secure connections to ensure their transactions are safe (46%) and faster connection speeds in order to obtain immediate results when they are about to make a purchase (38%).
"The results from this survey clearly indicate that we are starting to see meaningful adoption of mobile commerce solutions," said John Sims, president of Sybase 365, a division of SAP. "While progress is being made, the industry needs to make a collective effort to better educate and inform consumers about pressing issues surrounding mobile payments, such as available technology, security, and usage benefits. This will ensure that consumers are comfortable enough to embrace this extremely pervasive industry as part of their everyday lives."
Mobile devices are also helping consumers make smarter, more informed purchasing decisions all year round. Forty-two percent of survey respondents reported that information they found using their mobile devices influenced their decision the last time they made a purchase. Thirty percent of consumers reported that the last time they were at the point of sale, they used their mobile device to compare prices or read product reviews and ended up making a purchase from a different physical or online store or purchased a different brand altogether; and eight percent of individuals reported that their mobile device validated a purchase they were already going to make.
Merchants are also helping to drive awareness of mobile payments. Most significantly, they are leveraging mobile to target customers with loyalty deals and coupons. Nearly half of consumers surveyed (44%) received a deal on their mobile device recently from Amazon, Apple, Best Buy, Groupon, Target or Starbucks.
"The mobile commerce industry still has ground to cover in order to achieve a critical mass. Merchants and marketing executives must learn how to harness the innovative technology in powerful new ways so that we can see the full potential of this new world," Sims added.
The sample size of 1,000 carries a margin of error of +/- 3% at a 95% confidence level. This margin of error would be greater for any subsets of the sample.