Mobile Devices Slowly Gaining Ground as Purchase Tools

2013 will be remembered as the year that smartphones reached critical mass in the U.S. Advertisers have been rolling out mobile apps and promotions to entice consumers to make purchases while they are out and about. So far, only a few consumers are actually using their smartphones to buy anything. Choice Stream has found that consumers mobilemanifestodemonstrate a clear preferences for using specific devices for specific tasks. For now, the smartphone is largely a research, entertainment and communications tool.

Currently, nearly 90% of consumers prefer to use desktop/laptop devices to conduct research, search, and shop. Reading is the top activity for 39% of tablet owners and 30% of smartphone owners call this device the best choice for social activity.

Digital promotions are on the increase as a result of the attention consumers direct to their electronic devices.  But, marketers should realize that these promotions don't always drive consumers to take instant action. Consumers reported a bit of a time lag between when they notice an ad and when they'll take action such as trying to get more information:

  • Within 1 hour 22%
  • Within 24 hours 30%
  • Days later 36%
  • Weeks later 11%

While consumers notice these promotions, they don't always appreciate some of the formats. For example, 68% say they find native advertising to be an attempt to trick consumers. Retargeting isn’t always successful, either. At least 60% of consumers who ignore these ads say they are annoying. And, at least 62% of surveyed consumers note that they haven't seen any ads for products they previously viewed online.

Despite the current preference to make digital purchases via a laptop or desktop, about 5% of consumers would rather make purchases with their smartphones. In general, when consumers do shop on smartphones, they are most likely to buy games and apps. Other top categories that consumers shop for at least once a month on their smartphones range from restaurants/reservations and books/periodicals to travel services such as hotels, airfare, and rental cars.

To learn more about Mobile Marketing Responders, check out the AudienceSCAN report available on the Research Store at ad​-ology​.com.

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.