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Mobile Devices Are a Key Driver of Online and Offline Consumer Electronics Spending

by | 3 minute read

The synergy between the consumer shopping behavior of showrooming and internet product research, as well as digital advertising and online purchasing, is becoming increasingly pronounced and interdependent – and consumer electronics brands can benefit by adjusting their marketing strategies, according to a new study released recently by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). TV

The new IAB study reveals the prominence and importance of mobile device usage by shoppers in the consumer electronics showrooming experience. The most significant finding in the mobile component of the research was that while 42% of in-store mobile device using shoppers ultimately made their purchase online, a full 30% made their purchase in the store.

Interestingly, those who used their mobile phones while shopping were also more likely to make an unplanned purchase (32% in-store vs. 22% online).

Other mobile-related findings:

  • 42% of those who used a mobile device while in-store spent over $1000
  • Among mobile device owners who didn’t use their device in-store, only 21% spent over $1000
  • 65% of shoppers who use their mobile device in-store said it made them more likely to buy the product

“Given these findings, more than ever mobile is the connective tissue in showrooming that is driving a more integrated shopping experience in the consumer electronics space,” said Anna Bager, Vice President and General Manager, Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence, IAB. “It has become an impactful ecosystem unto itself, with huge strategic implications for brands – while at the same time empowering consumers with more real-time information and choices in their online and offline shopping.”

Digital advertising was also a notable factor in the showrooming experience for consumers, according to the study. Over a third of shoppers (35%) recalled seeing ads for consumer electronics they were shopping for, and among those shoppers, over 7 in 10 said that they had viewed digital ads. Furthermore, digital ads heavily influenced consumer behavior in shopping for electronics. Half of those surveyed said that digital ads made them visit an online store, while 28% of respondents said digital ads drove them to shop at a bricks-and-mortar retail location.

Other key research results:

  • Among in-store shoppers, over a quarter (27%) intended to showroom by trying out the products in the store and then buy online
  • More than 3 in 4 consumers did some form of online research, on a personal computer or mobile device, prior to going to a store; mainly checking prices, reading reviews and looking up product features
  • The top three drivers for purchasing in-store are, in order, convenience, trying/seeing the product, and price
  • In comparison, the top ranked motivators for purchasing online are price, convenience, and selection/availability

“It’s clear from the study’s results that showrooming is a multifaceted and increasingly sophisticated consumer behavior,” said Sherrill Mane, Senior Vice President, Research, Analytics and Measurement, IAB. “The implication for consumer electronics retailers is enormous – they will thrive more quickly when they execute a marketing strategy whose nexus is the synthesis of online, mobile and offline shopping experiences.”

[Source:  Survey conducted by Ipsos MediaCT, in partnership with the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).  26 Feb. 2013.  Web.  28 Feb. 2013.]