Parents may be more tech-savvy than they have been given credit for. A new study has found that parents with children under the age of 18 are more likely to use their smartphones for shopping activities than people without kids are.
Overall, 27 percent of parents made an online purchase using their smartphone compared with 17 percent of nonparents. Parents, however, were not only more likely to make a purchase on their smartphone, they were also more likely to make a purchase because of a text message and check into a store from a location-based service. Additionally, parents are twice as likely to download an app from their favorite store and use the GPS system on their phone to find a store. Parents were also more willing to sign up for promotions and discounts and text alerts from a retailer than those without children.
"As brand marketers grow more aware of 'Parent Power' on mobile, they can tailor programs to meet their interests and needs," said Alistair Goodman, CEO of Placecast, which sponsored the research. For mobile commerce, "parents are showing that they are early adopters. Brands that know how to connect with tech-savvy parents are going to see greater ROI in this back-to-school season."
While these findings can be partially shaped by the fact that more parents own smartphones than nonparents, 52 percent versus 35 percent, that is not the only reason for the jump. Parents are more reliant on their phones to make their lives easier because of the time restraints they face with children. This in turn explains the increased reliance on smartphones for shopping-related tasks, the research said.
"Any parent can confirm how having a child changes your behavior with technology and
shopping," said Kathryn Koegel, chief of insights for Primary Impact Consulting, which helped to develop the poll. "You go from being able to check your computer as often as necessary to a constantly on-the-go lifestyle where mobile computing becomes essential and a critical timesaver."
"Parents in playgrounds are shopping for a variety of goods – and most significant for retailers, they are using their phones for retail activities in stores," Koegel said. "They are the most likely demographic sector to have purchased an item on their phone in a store. This is an amazing opportunity and challenge for retailers to drive loyalty rather than send people to a competitor."
The information in this research was based on the responses of 2,262 adults. The research was conducted by Harris Interactive for location-based marketing firm Placecast.