US online buyers who were led to their purchase by a search engine or social media site, November 2010:
- Search: 51%
- Search and social: 48%
- Social: 1%
Furthermore, when consumers were exposed to both brand-specific search results and social media, search click through rates increased by 94%.
Buyers researching brands on their product shortlist depend largely on their peers' opinions - 30% of consumers rely on user reviews to aid in their purchase decision, whereas only 17% and 9% turn to Facebook or Twitter, respectively.
Social media used by US online buyers to make purchase decisions, November 2010 (% of respondents):
- Users reviews: 30%
- Facebook: 17%
- Video-sharing (e.g. YouTube): 14%
- Twitter: 9%
In the 90 days leading up to purchase, less than 1% of all online purchasers engaged with brand-controlled social media from Facebook, Twitter and YouTube or ads on social sites, whereas 16% of consumers engaged with vertical- or industry-specific blogs offering expert opinions and product reviews.
Additional findings from ForeSee Results further emphasize the role of product review websites as an important influence on buyers visiting retail websites. Compared to other influences, product review websites were most likely to affect the shopper's likelihood of purchasing online, sharing this distinction with another highly influential factor: word-of-mouth recommendations. (eMarketer, March 2011)
Competition appears to be heating up in the daily deals space, with LivingSocial gaining ground on market leader Groupon following a popular 50% off Amazon promotion it ran January 20, 2011.
LivingSocial's traffic surged 80% in the week beginning January 17, while visits to the Groupon site declined 20% in the same period, according to data from Hitwise.
Although those gains are likely a direct result of the extremely popular Amazon promotion that ran that week, they imply that market leader Groupon may not have an insurmountable stranglehold on the space.
The direct correlation between LivingSocial's gain and Groupon's decline also suggests a possible saturation in the market, given that a spike in traffic for the former appears to come at the expense of the latter. It would appear, therefore, that consumers are choosing to visit one or the other, as opposed to both. Of course, that trend could simply reflect less popular deals being offered by Groupon that week.
For the week ending January 22, LivingSocial attracted over half the traffic of Groupon. It remains to be seen if LivingSocial can capitalize on that surge in traffic and maintain an increased audience, however. (ClickZ, February 2011)
Social shopping sites like Groupon and LivingSocial form another piece of the social commerce space, and despite the hype many shoppers have not yet jumped on the bandwagon. Two in five online buyers surveyed had not heard of social shopping sites, and another 28% knew what they were but had never used them, according to JPMorgan's "Nothing But Net 2011" report.
US online buyers who use social shopping sites, December 2010 (as a % of respondents):
- Bought from such a site: 17%
- Have signed up, never bought: 16%
- Heard of such sites, never users: 28%
- Not familiar with such sites: 39%
Age and income were major determining factors for participation in social shopping sites, the survey found. Web users ages 18 to 34 were 10 times as likely as those 55 and older to have purchased from such a site, and twice as likely to have done so as 35- to 54-year-old respondents.
Income's effect was less dramatic but still clear: 23% of web users with an income of at least $100,000 annually bought from a social shopping site, vs. 10% of those making less than $50,000. Income also determined whether internet users had heard of social shopping at all; the least well off respondents were significantly less likely to be familiar with the sites even though they did not use them. (eMarketer, January 2011)
Lead generation budgets were slashed by many companies in 2009, but now that the economy is on the upturn again, dollars are flowing and acquiring new customers is a priority.
According to the "2010 Lead Generation Optimization Key Trends Analysis" from CSO Insights, more than 91% of companies worldwide reported increasing new customer acquisition was one of their top strategic marketing objectives for 2010.
Based on the quantity and quality of leads generated, companies said email was their best lead generation program, followed by live events, website registrations and webinars. The effectiveness of online channels, coupled with the fact that prospects indicate the web is the first place they look for more information, makes it natural for companies to be increasing their investments in web design, email marketing and search engine optimization.
Investments in new media are also on the rise, even if it remains less effective than more traditional channels.
At the same time, the web was the area companies were most likely to say needed improvement in its ability to execute lead campaigns. For many marketers, there has already been significant improvement: 51% said the web did not meet expectations in 2010, compared with 68% who said the same in 2009.
In addition, marketers' ability to measure their own success affected whether they thought the web was an effective channel. Among those companies that had not adopted a lead generation management system, 65% were dissatisfied with the performance of web-based lead generation efforts. But among marketers that did have a system in place to track leads, only 37% agreed-putting the web on par in effectiveness with traditional media advertising and ahead of direct mail or telemarketing. (eMarketer, July 2010)
Open rates continued a steady decline around the world, according to MailerMailer's "Email Marketing Metrics Report," dropping from 12% in the first half of 2009 to 11.2% in the second half.
The report suggested several factors that might contribute to fewer opens, including cluttered inboxes, the rising use of mobile devices and the common habit of turning email images off, which can prevent an open being triggered.
Click rates suffered a much worse descent in the second half of 2009, dropping more than 38% from the first half and nearly 43% from the same period of the previous year.
Again, MailerMailer suggested inbox clutter or list fatigue was a problem, but also noted that anti-phishing security measures sometimes stop links from going live. Email recipients must then take two actions-one to enable the links, and a second one to click on them.
The industry breakdown was similar to the one for open rates, with religion, transportation, environmental and retail emails coming out on top. Legal, marketing, entertainment and restaurant industry emails had the lowest click rates.
According to MailerMailer, the vast majority of actions will take place in the first 72 hours after sending a message, including about 90% of opens. Experian Cheetahmail similarly reported that in March 2010, 92% of opens and 93% of clicks came within the first three days, with 98% of opens and clicks coming within seven days after sending the messages.
That study found messages from nonprofits saw the fastest opens, while catalogers were quickest to be clicked on. Marketers can speed up interaction rates with tactics like limited-time offers in email subject lines, but some industries, like travel, should expect a longer lead time due to the nature of their products and services. (eMarketer, July 2010)
Retailers are responding to the growing consumer appetite for online videos by adding them to their Websites both to differentiate themselves from competitors and to keep up with what consumers expect from their online shopping experience.
Although consumers rank other purchase decision-making tools, such as customer reviews, ahead of videos in importance, according to eMarketer. But that has not discouraged retailers from quickly adding videos to their sites. They find that videos boost sales conversion rates and reduce abandoned shopping cart and product return rates.
The proportion of the top 50 US online retailers offering videos jumped 378% in 2009 over the year before, according to a Forrester Research study, "Online Retailers' Adoption of Online Video Content Is Ahead of Consumers' Preferences," published in November 2009. In 2009, over two-thirds of the biggest online retailers hosted videos.
The adoption rate is poised to climb further, as revealed by a February 2010 Multichannel Merchant survey. Among the two-thirds of respondents who indicated they were planning a site redesign in the next 12 months, some 42.3% said they would add video to their site. That makes it the second-highest priority, well behind social media tools but ahead of other popular Website enhancements including customer reviews and personalized recommendations. (eMarketer, May 2010)
Users of print and online directories are prepared to make a purchase after researching local businesses, according to research conducted by Burke and commissioned by the Yellow Pages Association (YPA).
About 8 in 10 users of either type of directory bought or planned to buy a product after their search.
US consumers who intend to make or made a purchase after searching print vs. internet Yellow Pages, 2009 (% of respondents):
- Internet yellow pages: 44% intend to make a purchase / 36% made a purchase
- Print yellow pages: 39% / 39%
A Q1 2010 study from BIA/Kelsey and ConStat found that 48% of internet users looked for info in online yellow pages when researching local products and services, compared with 90% who used search engines.
But the YPA "2009 Local Media Tracking Study" found greater trust in both print and internet yellow pages than in online search. Two-thirds of respondents said directories were more trustworthy and accurate for local information.
Aside from the YPA's interest in print and online directories, respondents were asked about search in general rather than local search specifically. Research on local search behavior from TMP Directional Marketing and comScore indicated that for most business categories, internet users did use general search engines rather than specific local search sites. But users of local search were 12% points more likely to visit a store in person than users of online yellow pages or general search. Most internet directory users did contact a store by phone after their research. (eMarketer, April 2010)
Online video advertising continues to reach more US users, with almost half viewing an ad during November 2010, according to comScore. The measurement firm estimates 48.6% of users were exposed to a video ad over the course of the month, compared with 45.5% in October 2010.
As Google continues to roll ad products out across YouTube, its growing the volume of ads it's serving also. Google sites streamed 241 million video ads in November 2010, representing significant growth over the 170.5 million served in October 2010. The company's reach also grew from 13.9% to 16.3% over the same period. (ClickZ, December 2010)
The majority of online news users in the US are accepting of online advertising, but most also claim to ignore it, according to data from the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism and its Internet and American Life Project.
The research, conducted during December 2009 and January 2010, found 81% of online news users "do not mind" online advertising. However, 77% of respondents also said they tend to ignore those ads, with 42% claiming they "never" click on them, and 35% claiming to do so "hardly ever."
The research also found 21% of overall users click on ads "sometimes" or "often," with 80% clicking "never" or "hardly ever".
However, a report issued by comScore last week suggested ads don't necessarily need to be clicked on to be effective. Citing the results of studies conducted in 2008 that found US users were 49% more likely to visit an advertiser's site having previously been exposed to a display ad. In addition, it found they were 40% more likely to conduct a search query on an advertiser trademark after seeing an ad, regardless of whether or not they clicked on it. (ClickZ Stats, March 2010)
15% of all US online retail sales in 2013 will be made on a mobile device, an increase from 11% in 2012, according to estimates by eMarketer. Those projections correspond with an April survey of US mobile internet users conducted by AYTM Market Research that demonstrates just how common mcommerce has become for mobile internet users. According to the poll, 55% of respondents had ever made a purchase on their mobile device, although only 9% did so with great frequency.
US internet users who use their mobile devices to purchase products online, April 2013 (as a % of respondents):
- Yes, often: 9%
- Yes, sometimes: 27%
- Rarely: 19%
- Never: 45%
Researching products and prices on mobile was an even more popular shopping activity. In fact, 72% of respondents said they had used their phone to research product prices or seek a better deal online, with 22% saying they did so often.
Apps, in particular, appear to be playing an important role in leading shoppers down the path to purchase. Just more than one-third of respondents said they had downloaded an app specific to a particular store, making it the most popular type of shopping app used by consumers. That was followed by local store/shopping locators apps (26%), general coupon apps (25.5%) and daily deal apps (22.5%).
Figuring prominently in the mcommerce landscape are tablets, the ownership of which correlate strongly to digital purchases. eMarketer estimates that 63% of US tablet users will make a purchase on the device this year, with that percentage growing to 78% by 2017. (eMarketer, May 2013)
10% of online retail dollars spent in Q3 2012 were on mobile devices, according to comScore e-commerce research. comScore anticipate this share to increase to an even more substantial 12-13% during Q4 2012. Tablets are the driving force behind this transaction share explosion, as the ease of use and shopping experience on a tablet device lends itself rather well to actual purchase behaviour and more closely approximates the desktop buying experience than smartphones. In fact, the mobile spending trend acceleration appears to coincide with the more mainstream adoption of tablets in 2011. (comScore, December 2012)
eMarketer's mobile shopper forecast reflects a cultural shift toward a mobile-centric lifestyle in the US, one in which all things digital are increasingly accessed through mobile devices.
The number of mobile shoppers in the US will increase by 24% in 2013 to 118 million consumers and represent 62% of digital shoppers, according to eMarketer. Over the next four years, the overlap between mobile and digital shoppers will steadily increase as the number of mobile shoppers grows to 174 million in 2016. At that point, roughly eight out of 10 digital shoppers will also be mobile shoppers.
US mobile shoppers and penetration, 2011-2016:
- 2011: 68.4 million (38.4% of digital shoppers)
- 2012: 94.8 million (51.5%)
- 2013: 118.0 million (62.2%)
- 2014: 139.7 million (71.5%)
- 2015: 159.1 million (79.1%)
- 2016: 174.9 million (84.6%)
As the number of mobile shoppers rises, so does the number of buyers. Retail trends and the latest research leads eMarketer to believe that 72 million people in the US will make a purchase through a mobile device in 2013, a figure that will increase nearly 65%, to 119 million, in 2016. The growth of the mobile buyer community will be fueled in greatest measure by the expanding number of tablet users who are more prone to buying. Still, the number of consumers making purchases on a smartphone is expected to increase by double-digit levels for the next three years and contribute significantly to the overall expansion of the mobile buyer population.
US mobile buyers, 2011-2016:
- 2011: 33.2 million (+117.0% change)
- 2012: 52.5 million (+57.9%)
- 2013: 72.6 million (+38.3%)
- 2014: 89.1 million (+22.7%)
- 2015: 105.1 million (+18.0%)
- 2016: 119.6 million (+13.9%)
(eMarketer, January 2013)
Proximity mobile payments are not yet very popular in the US; eMarketer estimates that such point-of-sale payments using a mobile phone as a payment device, whether via near-field communications or other contactless technology, will total just $640 million in 2012. But that's an increase of 283% over last year's even smaller base, and a number that will rise a further 234% by the end of next year.
By 2016, proximity mobile payments will have exploded in the US, and total transaction value will hit $62.24 billion.
US proximity mobile payment transaction value, 2011-2016:
- 2011:$0.17 billion
- 2012: $0.64 billion (+283% change)
- 2013: $2.12 billion (_234%)
- 2014: $7.51 billion (+254%)
- 2015: $24.63 billion (+228%)
- 2016: $62.24 billion (+153%)
These estimates are based on the following key assumptions:
- In the near term, light users experimenting with low-dollar purchases will dominate the mobile payment audience; a smaller segment of heavy users who habitually buy their daily coffee, for example, with a mobile payment system will increase over the forecast period.
- The significant jump in total and per-user spending over the forecast period will be driven by consumers adopting mobile payments for medium-priced purchases such as groceries, gas and fast-casual dining. eMarketer views this type of habitual consumption as crucial for moving mobile payments into the mainstream.
- The increased activity among these regular users is contingent on a number of factors, including the assumption that more mainstream merchants will accept mobile payments of some kind; the experience of using a mobile payment platform will be sufficiently convenient and add enough value to encourage repeat use; and concerns about security and smartphone battery life will gradually ebb as consumers grow more familiar with the different systems available. Absent these conditions, the market may not develop as predicted in the model.
- By the same token, in the event that hardware and infrastructure impediments are resolved in a shorter timeframe, and clear "winners" emerge in the mobile payments ecosystem-factors that may help drive adoption on both the merchant and consumer side-the proximity payments opportunity could be significantly greater.
US proximity mobile payment users, 2011-2016:
- 2011: 2.7 million (3% of smartphone users)
- 2012: 7.9 million (7%)
- 2013: 13.3 million (10%)
- 2014: 21.3 million (14%)
- 2015: 34.0 million (20%)
- 2016: 48.1 million (26%)
Although the US market holds significant promise in terms of the sheer volume of mobile payment transactions, it is likewise characterized by fragmentation. eMarketer believes the number and scope of the different mobile payment solutions currently available or preparing for launch in the next six to 12 months will have contradictory effects on the market. On the one hand, more solutions, and the media attention they bring to the mobile payments segment in general, will raise awareness for consumers and merchants. On the other, the sheer number of choices will present a challenge for both groups, but for merchants in particular, who may incur significant costs in choosing one solution over another, especially in cases where a solution entails new point-of-sale hardware. (eMarketer, October 2012)
One in five (20%) US mobile phone owners has made a purchase online via their device, according to a February 2012 survey of online US adult mobile phone owners commissioned by advertising company Placecast and conducted by Harris Interactive. The figure reaches 34% among smartphone owners.
Unsurprisingly, smartphone owners were more likely to make mobile purchases than feature phone owners. But the poll also revealed that consumers were most often using mobile phones to facilitate their in-person shopping-half of smartphone users said they had used a phone-based GPS or mapping tool to find a store's brick-and-mortar location.
Overall, US consumers are steadily embracing the idea of making purchases on their mobile phones. The survey found that the percentage of people who thought it was at least somewhat important to be able to make a purchase on their mobile phone had climbed to 38% in 2012, compared with 30% in 2010. But despite those gains, the vast majority of respondents, 62%, still said it wasn't important at all for them to be able to make purchases on their mobile phones.
The number of shoppers interested in receiving promotional texts has also climbed in recent years. As of February 2012, 31% of US mobile phone owners who did not already receive SMS message-based marketing said they were at least somewhat interested in such messages. And 10% said they were extremely interested in SMS messages. Those marketers who can formulate well-crafted mobile offers for those seeking them will likely drive both mcommerce, as well as in-store sales.
eMarketer estimates that mobile phone penetration will reach 76.8% of the US population in 2012. By 2016, smartphones users are expected to account for 74% of all US mobile phone users. (eMarketer, May 2012)
38% of smartphone owners have used their phone to make a purchase at least once in the course of their device ownership, according to a comScore study on US mobile retail usage.
The most popular products purchased on smartphones during the month of September 2011 included digital goods (47%), clothing/accessories (37%), event tickets (35%) and daily deals (34%). Travel products/services such as hotel stays and flight tickets came at 29% and 24% respectively.
Types of Products Purchased by Smartphone Buyers, September 2011 (Total US Mobile Subscribers Ages 18+):
1. Digital purchases (i.e., songs/music, eBooks, ringtones, images, movies, TV shows, etc.): 47% of smartphone buyers
2. Clothing or accessories directly from retailer: 37%
3. Tickets (i.e., concerts, movies, theatrical productions, sporting events, etc.): 35%
4. Daily deals: 34%
5. Gift certificates: 34%
6. Electronics (i.e., television, computer): 32%
7. Food (not grocery) for delivery or pick up (ex., pizza...): 31%
8. Hotel stays: 29%
9. Books (physical copies): 26%
10. Car rentals: 24%
11. Flights: 24%
12. Flowers: 21%
13. Sports/Fitness: 19%
14. Auto: 13%
Analysis of where consumers were located when they purchased products/services on their smartphone found that 56% did so while at home. 42% of consumers made purchases while out of home (i.e. restaurants, parks, etc.) or at work, with 37% making purchases while travelling/commuting. Slightly more than one in three purchasers used their smartphone to make a purchase while in a store, highlighting the increasingly important role mobile is playing in consumers' bricks and mortar retail experience, especially as a tool for real-time price and product comparisons. (comScore, December 2011)
82% of the tablet owners in North America report a willingness to purchase directly on their mobile devices (smartphones or tablets), compared with 76% of smartphone owners, according to a December 2011 report from JiWire.
Two in three are comfortable spending $50 or more on a device, compared with 57% of smartphone owners. According to a study released in November 2011 by Jumptap, in partnership with comScore, 63% of tablet owners have made a purchase using their device, compared to just 31% of smartphone owners.
Meanwhile, JiWire's data indicates that purchase intent also appear to skew male: 73% of men report purchasing on mobile devices, compared to 61% of women. Electronics, retail, entertainment, and travel are the most frequently purchased categories for both tablet owners and smartphone owners, although tablet owners lead each category in terms of purchase frequency.
By contrast, according to the Jumptap report, the top three products and services that are bought using mobile devices (including tablets) are event tickets, daily deals from sites such as Groupon and Living Social, and apparel. Travel and physical copies of books/games/movies round out the top five. (MarketingCharts, December 2011)
US m-commerce sales are on a steep upward trajectory, thanks in part to ever-increasing adoption of smartphones and the mobile internet among the US mobile population. eMarketer estimates mobile commerce sales will reach US$6.7 billion in 2011 (a tiny fraction of overall retail sales, but a 91.4% increase over 2010). In 2012, sales will rise another 73.1%, to $11.6 billion.
US m-commerce sales, 2010-2015:
- 2010: US$3.5 billion (+118.8%)
- 2011: US$6.7 billion (+91.4%)
- 2012: US$11.6 billion (+73.1%)
- 2013: US$17.2 billion (+48.3%)
- 2014: US$23.7 billion (+37.8%)
- 2015: US$31.0 billion (+30.8%)
eMarketer's estimates of mobile sales are based on a meta-analysis of data from research firms as well as overall trends in mobile ownership and usage. M-commerce sales include sales of physical goods as well as travel and event tickets purchased via mobile, but exclude digital downloads and usage of mobile phones as a point-of-sale payment mechanism.
eMarketer forecasts 37.5 million US consumers aged 14 and up will make at least one purchase on their mobile phone next year, up from 26.8 million this year. The vast majority of that group will be smartphone owners, at 97% in 2012. Overall, 72.8 million mobile users will research or browse items on their phone next year, but not necessarily make a purchase.
US mobile buyers, 2010-2015:
- 2010: 17.5 million (8.0% of mobile phone users)
- 2011: 26.8 million (12.0%)
- 2012: 37.5 million (16.5%)
- 2013: 46.1 million (20.0%)
- 2014: 53.8 million (23.0%)
- 2015: 61.8 million (26.0%)
US smartphone buyers, 2010-2015:
- 2010: 13.7 million (23.0% of smartphone users / 77.8% of mobile buyers)
- 2011: 25.6 million (29.0% / 95.3%)
- 2012: 36.4 million (35.0% / 97.0%)
- 2013: 44.9 million (38.5% / 97.3%)
- 2014: 52.9 million (41.0% / 98.3%)
- 2015: 61.1 million (42.5% / 98.9%)
(eMarketer, December 2011)
A JWT's survey found shopping (11%) ranked low in usage among US women smartphone owners, which may reflect the still nascent uptake and ongoing security concerns around mobile commerce, according to "Always On Women" a JWT/Ad Age a white paper on how women are using technology today.
Things purchased on smartphones by US women:
- Apps: 54%
- Games: 52%
- Music: 49%
- Clothing/shoes/accessories: 26%
- Text donation to charity: 24%
- Deals (via Groupon, LivingSocial): 24%
- Movie/concert tickets: 21%
- Food: 19%
- Personal-care items: 19%
- Flights or other travel items: 17%
- Other: 11%
(JWT Intelligence, November 2011)
Tablet owners are almost as likely as PC and laptop owners to use their devices to make purchases, according to a Jumptap study on mobile banking and commerce. Two-thirds (63%) of tablet users make purchases on the device, compared to 83% of PC owners who do the same.
Younger users are more comfortable using tablets to buy products and services. Nearly 8 in 10 tablet owners ages 18 to 34 make purchases with the devices, compared to 50% of people 35 to 54 and 43% of those 55+, according to the study, which is based on comScore data.
The top three products and services bought across all mobile devices are event tickets, daily deals from sites like Groupon and LivingSocial and clothing. Security is the main reason that people hold back from doing mobile transactions, but that concern is not as big a barrier for tablet owners.
Nearly a third of smartphone users (32%) cited security as one reason they have not made a mobile purchase, compared to only 17% of tablet users.
The results of the mobile ad network's study coincide with other research and anecdotal information that tablets, assumed to be mainly portable media players, are also becoming m-commerce machines. While tablets still account for only a fraction of online sales, Forrester has found the conversion rate for shoppers using tablets is 4% to 5%, compared to 3% for shoppers using a PC. (HOTELMARKETING.COM, November 2011)
Almost half of US smartphone owners find an Near Field Communication (NFC) enabled mobile wallet application appealing, according to Parks Associaites. The convenience of e-Wallet solutions, specifically for eliminating the need to carry multiple or any credit cards, is driving the majority of consumer interest, according to Harry Wang, director, mobile research, Parks Associates.
Already 16% of smartphone owners use PayPal or other types of e-Wallet solutions as their preferred method for mobile payments, and 1 in 4 Millennials regularly use their mobile phones to research products or services prior to a purchase.
These factors will create a commerce opportunity on smartphones of more than $800 billion US in 2015 and boost business for merchants, retailers, financial institutions, and mobile carriers. Industry heavyweights Amazon.com and eBay reported robust mobile eCommerce growth in 2011. Siemens, recently announced its new walletXpress mobile payment platform. (Parks Associates, November 2011)
As m-commerce becomes more widely adopted, distinct demographic characteristics are emerging. More smartphone and tablet owners are researching products than purchasing them (80.8% compared to 41.4%), according to BIGresearch. But attitudes vary quite a bit among different age groups.
A majority of US consumers surveyed by Barkley considered online shopping to be an important convenience, but a gap between generations emerged when mobile devices were introduced into the equation. Nearly twice as many under-35s vs. older respondents agreed that being able to research and buy products on the go was a true convenience. 29% also separated the two groups on the matter of using a smartphone or tablet as a research aid while shopping.
The inclination to make impulse purchases also appears to be tied to smartphone shopping. Half of the millennials surveyed admitted to that tendency. However, according to a report by Myxer, a mobile technology company, a plurality of mobile buyers (37%) spent less than $5 per purchase, on average. Among the 18-to-24 set, 80% of these purchases were music downloads and only 3% were physical goods. This shifted with age: 57% of those ages 35 to 54 bought music, while 11% bought items.
This split is also apparent in payment preferences. Millennials wanted charges to appear on their phone bills (perhaps because the figures were not significant) while the older group favoured credit cards, the more traditional approach.
The one thing mobile buyers of all ages agreed on was that convenience was the number one driver of m-commerce behaviours. Thirty-seven percent of all respondents cited this as the reason for participating in mobile shopping, followed by price (24%). Even if current mobile shoppers buy different things and pay in varying ways, connecting with potential m-commerce users comes down to emphasizing its convenient nature. (eMarketer, September 2011)
Mobile phones are becoming increasingly important to consumers for conducting shopping activities, and mobile advertising is driving some to purchase though often not via the phones themselves. June 2011 research by ExactTarget found that email was the most powerful form of mobile marketing in terms of driving purchase among smartphone owners in the US.
More than half of smartphone owners who had made a purchase because of a mobile marketing message said they had done so after receiving a mobile marketing email. About four in ten smartphone owners who made a purchase as a result of mobile marketing did so because of a text message.
For the most part, smartphone owners are still making their actual purchases through a channel other than their phone. Even among smartphone owners who were spurred to buy something by a marketing message seen on their phone, only about a third had completed the purchase on their phone's web browser. Nearly as many had made a purchase via an app, and 19% bought something in an app store-suggesting they were buying either apps or virtual goods.
Instead, purchases on desktop computers and in stores were more popular.
Overall, just 16% of smartphone owners told ExactTarget they had made a purchase because of a mobile marketing message, a fairly small share. As the population of smartphone owners continues to increase, and users become more comfortable with the devices, that share may go up. (eMarketer, July 2011)
A study in the US has indicated that 43% of consumers would feel comfortable spending US$200 or less when booking travel on a mobile device. 64% consumers would be most comfortable spending $500 or less than when booking travel on their mobile device.
As per the study, Summer season is the most popular one for mobile users to travel, with more than 79% of respondents saying that they travel during that period. Spring (36%), Fall (32%) and Winter (27%) followed behind.
For advertisers looking to capitalise on the summer plans of consumers, the study showed that 73% of mobile consumers tend to book their travel plans one month or less in advance of a trip. In fact, 30% book travel at the spur of the moment, within a week of taking off.
The research also proves that mobile users are not only comfortable with spending significant dollars within the mobile ecosystem, but also rely on their devices more and more for ecommerce as it relates to other segments in the lucrative travel category. (HOTELMARKETING.COM, August 2011)
Despite the prevalence of smartphones and mobile devices, consumers don't seem to making many purchases with them. But that should start to change soon, according to a new report from Forrester Research.
Currently consumers make about 2% of their online purchases through mobile devices, but that will change as merchants and consumers continue to adapt to the new devices said Forrester analyst Sucharita Mulpuru in a blog post.
Currently, the mobile commerce industry stands at about US$6 billion. Forrester expects mobile sales to grow 40% each year over the next five years, reaching US$31 billion by 2016. But even then, Forrester expects that mobile sales will only account for 7% of all web sales.
US mobile commerce, 2010-2016:
- 2010: US$3 million (1% of eCommerce)
- 2011: US$6 million (2%)
- 2012: US$10 million (3%)
- 2013: US$14 million (4%)
- 2014: US$19 million (5%)
- 2015: US$25 million (6%)
- 2016: US$31 million (7%)
(HOTELMARKETING.COM, June 2011)
Three in ten (29%) US consumers have made at least one purchase via mobile device in December 2010, according to a white paper from Oracle and ATG "Mobile Trends: Consumer Views of Mobile Shopping and Mobile Service Providers". This is 123% more than the 13% of consumers who had made a mobile purchase in November 2009.
Examining mobile purchase behaviour by age group, 40% of consumers age 18-34 had made a mobile purchase as of December 2010, up 74% from 23% in November 2009. Interestingly, this figure declined slightly from 41% in July 2010. Meanwhile, 27% of 34-54-year-old consumers had made a mobile purchase as of December 2010, up 145% from 11% 13 months earlier. And only 17% of consumers 55 and older had made a mobile purchase as of December 2010, but this figure was 142% higher than the 7% recorded in November 2009.
Thirty-two percent of men had made a mobile purchase in December 2010, double the 16% who had done so in November 2009. A substantial portion of this growth had occurred by July 2010, when 29% of men had made a mobile purchase. While a smaller percentage of women than men had made a mobile purchase as of December 2010 (26%), their growth rate since November 2009 was substantially higher (160%, up from 10%). In addition, only 60% of this growth had occurred by July 2010, when 16% of women had made a mobile purchase.
Oracle/ATG analysis shows consumers across all age groups are indicating a desire to make payments on their mobile devices. While younger consumers are more likely to want mobile payment options, this demand is also gaining traction in older mobile phone users.
Consumers saying they would be either "very interested," "interested," or "somewhat interested" in purchasing a product by checking out on their mobile phone while in a store, instead of paying at the cashier, broke down as follows:
- 56% of consumers aged 18-34.
- 43% of consumers aged 35-54.
- 19% of consumers aged 55 and older.
Men also appear to be more interested than women in making in-store mobile payments. Forty-five percent of male respondents said they would be either "somewhat interested," "interested," or "very interested" in checking out on their mobile device while in a store, compared to 38% of women.
The percentage of US consumers who use mobile devices to browse and research products while in a physical store grew 78% between November 2009 and December 2010, according to other data from "Mobile Shopping and Mobile Service Providers" which indicates 48% of consumers browsed and researched products on a mobile device while in-store in December 2010, compared to 27% in November 2009. (MarketingCharts, April 2011)
In less than a year, the iPad has emerged as powerful platform for online retail and the poster child for a new class of mobile commerce. Many retailers report that over 50% of their mobile traffic is now coming from theiPad, according to Forrester, which coined a new name for the trend: t-commerce.
However, rather than creating new incremental sales, t-commerce will largely grow by capturing and cannibalizing traditional PC-based retail traffic, according to Forrester.
The Forrester report makes it clear that smartphone-based "m-commerce" also remains highly relevant for retailers. Smartphones are less likely to be used to browse products and make actual purchases, yet mobile devices are increasingly supplementing the in-store shopping experience as more consumers rely on them to find nearby locations, check hours, and obtain price comparisons. Though the majority of m-commerce activities are not transactional, they do have the potential to drive incremental sales offline.
And yet, most retailers have a suboptimal multichannel experience that leaves considerable room for improvement.
E-commerce is growing at a double-digit pace and many retailers are ramping-up their presences on mobile and online platforms to offset a simultaneous decline of physical store sales. E-commerce will continue to grow in 2011, according to Forrester, creating opportunities for retailers that create shopper experiences that seamlessly extend across smartphones, laptops, tablets, in-store kiosks and the iPad. (HOTELMARKETING.COM, February 2011)
Though uptake of mobile commerce has been somewhat slow, mobile web users have big ideas about what they plan to do on their handsets in the coming years. US mobile internet users expect shopping-related activities in some categories to be more popular on mobile than they currently are on PCs, according to research from Yahoo! and Nielsen.
Only about a fifth of respondents used their mobile phone to shop for and research entertainment, dining, digital content for the mobile phone and financial services activities, for example, and PC use was higher in every category. But even more respondents were interested in turning this ecommerce into m-commerce within the next year.
Current and future mobile and PC usage for accessing shopping information according to US internet users, June 2010 (% of respondents):
- Entertainment items and content: 21% (current mobile use) / 73% (future mobile use) / 60% (current PC use)
- Restaurants/dining: 21% / 73% / 52%
- Digital content for a mobile phone: 21% / 73% / 28%
- Financial services: 19% / 66% / 58%
- Consumer electronics and technology: 17% / 61% / 57%
- Personal or vacation travel: 16% / 58% / 52%
- Clothing apparel and fashion accessories: 15% / 57% / 56%
- Healthcare or medical-related: 14% / 48% / 57%
- Packaged food and beverage: 12% / 47% / 46%
- Beauty and personal care: 12% / 46% / 43%
- Home improvement: 12% / 44% / 57%
- Automobiles or auto parts or accessories: 10% / 41% / 43%
Some categories have a clear mobile connection, like digital content created for handsets. Others are appropriate for PC use but benefit from special capabilities on mobile. For example, dining-related activities are expected to become more popular on the m-commerce channel. Already, mobile internet users conducting dining research and shopping activities most often use mobile location-based services when doing so, taking advantage of the GPS on mobile devices to find a place to eat while they are out and about.
Dining-related mobile activities of US mobile internet users, June 2010 (% of respondents):
- Used restaurant locator: 75%
- Used search: 73%
- Decided where to eat: 56%
- Looked up a menu: 56%
- Clicked to call: 39%
Even travel-related activities may occur more on mobile devices than PCs, indicating users are now thinking beyond the research and purchase phase to their need to stay connected and informed while their trip is under way.
The clear trend is for information in every category to become more mobile in the near future as consumers test and learn how their handsets can be most useful, and as they get accustomed to researching and browsing on the go. (eMarketer, February 2011)
Mobile phone users in the US were expected to be taking advantage of their devices en masse this holiday season to aid the multichannel shopping experience, building up their mobile shopping habit for the year to come.
78% of US smartphone users were at least somewhat likely to download or use a mobile app for holiday shopping, with price comparison the biggest draw, according to Google. A survey by mobile marketing agency Briabe Media of mobile users in the MocoSpace mobile social networking audience found that a similar 76% of respondents considered their phone at least somewhat important for their holiday shopping.
In December 2010, women placed a greater weight on using their phone for holiday shopping, with more than a third saying it was very important, compared with 28% of men.
Mobile shopping habits also split across racial and ethnic lines. Asian, black and Hispanic respondents were all at least 12 percentage points more likely than whites to place any importance on their phone for shopping. The differences were even more dramatic among respondents who classified their phone as very important: 40% of black respondents said so, compared with just 24% of whites.
Age had a smaller effect on results, with teenagers predictably more interested in mobile shopping. But with 79% of teens saying their phone was at least somewhat important, they were not too far ahead of adults over 30, 74% of whom said the same.
The top use of mobile phones was for product or pricing information before the shopper entered a store (62%); fewer respondents did comparison shopping on their phone while they were in a retail outlet (46%). (eMarketer, December 2010)
While consumer usage of mobile shopping is still relatively low, it is increasing, prompting firms such as Coda Research Consultancy to predict a doubling of m-commerce revenues in the US in 2010, to $2.4 billion.
There has also been a doubling in usage of mobile shopping, according to PriceGrabber.com's "Smartphone Shopping Behavior" survey. In April 2010, 35% of US Web-enabled mobile phone owners said they had participated in some form of mobile shopping in the past year, such as browsing or researching but not necessarily purchasing products. That was up from 17% who said the same in 2009. Still, only 13% actually made purchases via mobile, up from 10% last year.
Among all mobile users, there was a marked willingness to adopt more mobile shopping behaviours over the next two years (such as download apps, compare prices, purchase items and scan coupons) , though a significant portion of the population indicated they would never be interested in such activities.
Consumers' greater willingness to shop on the mobile channel rather than buy is supported by other research. Retrevo found in February 2010 that across all age groups internet users were at least three times as likely to research or compare prices on their phones as they were to make a purchase.
In Q9 2009, four times as many internet users surveyed by ATG said they researched or browsed via mobile at least weekly than bought.
Among the mobile buyers surveyed by PriceGrabber.com, the top purchases were of digital content for their phones and consumer electronics, with both categories increasing over last year. PriceGrabber found some of the barriers to further mobile buying were inherent to the medium, with respondents complaining that mobile screens were too small and saying that they simply preferred using a PC because it was easier. About a third of respondents also said the mobile buying process takes too long, and one-quarter indicated transactions were too difficult to complete. (eMarketer, June 2010)
Nearly 2/5 of US smartphone owners reported having bought something non-mobile over their mobile phone in the past six months, though many still report frustration with mobile site functionality, according to Q3 2009 data from Compete. And the top shopping-related smartphone activities are still research-based.
More than half of smartphone users checked out product descriptions, and many looks for reviews, coupons or better prices. About a third even bought the item on the mobile channel after seeing it in a store.
Android users said they would spend the most via mobile, followed by iPhone owners. Smartphone users with Windows, BlackBerry or Palm devices had similar, lower spending thresholds.
Usage of m-commerce features among smartphone users is higher than among all mobile subscribers. Deloitte found that 15% of US mobile users purchased products via mobile at least occasionally in 2009. The researcher also found that about a fifth of mobile users planned to use their phone for shopping activities this past holiday season. (eMarketer, January 2010)
Last Updated on Saturday, 29 June 2013 20:14