Studying the mobile shopper remains one of the hottest research topics this year. How much do these consumers spend when they shop via their devices? What is the best way to reach these consumers? The latest report on this sector, Mobile Commerce Survey, from L.E.K. Consulting, has some answers.

According to this survey, nearly 2/3’s of consumers who own either a smartphone or a tablet have already made at least one purchase using the device. And over 80% of these consumers use the devices for research. With respect to shopping frequency, here’s how the numbers break out on a monthly basis:

  •  Purchases made with mobile devices (other than music/video): 39%
  • Research done with smartphones: 60%

The L.E.K. study also highlights several findings that are key for mobile marketers:

  • Consumers who make monthly purchases via smartphone are also looking for discounts. Over half use a mobile coupon app while 1 in 3 use price comparison shopping tools and nearly that many use loyalty or similar tools, often while standing in a store.
  • More than half of consumers who shop actively with mobile devices share their locations in exchange for real-time offers. These offers must have an immediate payoff though and can range from coupons to loyalty points.
  • Active mobile consumers are also adept at accessing product reviews from friends, family and others before making their purchase decision and they are comfortable doing so in store aisles.
  • The active mobile consumers also tap into flash sales sites and are happy to shift planned purchases from one channel to another in order to obtain discounts.

Vice President of L.E.K. Consulting Alan Lewis notes that “While the dollars being spent on mobile devices today are still small, our research shows that the influence of mobile devices on the behavior of consumers is much more significant and has more immediate implications for both retailers and brands.”

[Source: Smart Phones are Reshaping Consumer Purchasing Habits. LEK.com. 17 Aug. 2011. Web. 12 Oct. 2011]