Consumers Rely on Mobile During Path to Purchase

Retailers obsess about the level of showrooming that might be going on in their stores as a result of the mobile device revolution. This kind of showroomingcamerastoreobsession could be short-​sighted. New Millward Brown research suggests that mobile-​enabled consumers spend a lot more time visiting retailers than other consumers, both in and out of the store, and each mobile-​enabled visit can be a touch point and serve to influence a sale.

About 60% of surveyed consumers are currently researching on their mobile devices at home. While about 36% of smartphone users research at home, only 15% actually do so in a store. Consumers like using mobile resources to look up product information during the pre-​purchase discovery process with 40% doing so. The Millward Brown study shows that online-​only consumers are likely make 8.7 retail site visits while they research and consider a purchase. Consumers who use only a PC, make 4.5 online site visits. Multi-​channel shoppers with mobile devices look at more sites (4.2) than consumers with just a PC (1.5). These numbers average out to 6 mobile visits and provide retailers with multiple opportunities to influence a sale.

Marketers should ensure that they are present in a variety of online channels as smartphone users connect with them at the following points during their research process:

  • Search engines 45%
  • Retail sites 39%
  • Social sites 23%
  • Coupons site 23%
  • Brand sites 18%

Stephen DiMarco, Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Client Officer at Millward Brown Digital, notes that “mobile is simultaneously a top-​priority and a blind spot for virtually everyone in the marketing ecosystem.”

Based on this report, it seems that focus, going forward, should be on how to optimize a presence in mobile, instead of simply worrying about showrooming. What steps have you been taking to help your clients go mobile?

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.