As smartphones continue to grow in popularity among consumers, they are proving to be a shopper's best friend and an ally for retailers. New research has found that 81 percent of smartphone owners say they are constantly shopping because they have a mobile device.
A majority of shoppers also say they are more likely to make a purchase if they are using their mobile phone to shop. Additionally, 88 percent of respondents say they are also more impulsive if they are shopping using their mobile devices. That's because shoppers say that they are able to discover real-time information as they are shopping, the researchers say. Sixty-five percent of shoppers are also enhancing the mobile shopping experience with tablets.
"Shopping today is about discovering, and discovering more. Thanks to constant information access, we're moving from basic need-driven shopping to inspiration-driven shopping," said Kadley Gosselin, content and communications manager at research consultancy Latitude, who led the study. "There's an opportunity for retailers to provide more than mechanical recommendations based on preferences and past purchases. Consumers want to feel a personal connection and, if possible, a sense of serendipity, when retailers communicate with them."
Shoppers are expecting the mobile shopping trend to continue. Sixty-three percent of smartphone shoppers say they will be shopping on their smartphones more in the next few years compared with just 3 percent who expect to shop less in the next few years.
That increased popularity of smartphones among shoppers presents a number of opportunities to companies. Sixty-one percent of shoppers say they have a better opinion of brands with a good mobile experience. Additionally, 50 percent of respondents say that mobile alerts make them more likely to visit a physical store.
"What's exciting about mobile is that it allows people to make transactions without being in a transactional mindset. You can be out with friends, watching TV or cooking in your kitchen and suddenly you have access to making a transaction in a way you didn't before," said Neela Sakaria, executive vice president of Latitude. "Surprisingly, we found that many people prefer using their mobile devices for shopping even while at home. This means mobile isn't just about on-the-go convenience when it comes to shopping which opens up some interesting possibilities for retailers to reach people in new, and perhaps more engaging, ways."
The research was based on the responses of 909 smartphone owners between the ages of 20 and 59 in the United States and United Kingdom.