A new study from InMobi indicates that mobile Internet users would rather shop using a mobile device than a personal computer or laptop. Share with us a little bit about how this study was conducted.
SURAG PATEL (Director, Global Research at InMobi):
This study was conducted among mobile Web users via a survey taken on their mobile devices. The entire survey consisted of 13 questions, with over 13,000 completed questionnaires globally and over 2,300 in the United States alone.
What is your definition of mobile shopping? Mobile shopping is a very vague term and means different things to everyone. For the purposes of this research, we wanted to let consumers decide what they thought mobile shopping was and ask if they've conducted shopping related activities on their mobile devices, which vary from purchasing the product to reading reviews or even checking availability at a local store.
Tell us about some of the study’s key findings and the potential implications. For all the categories we asked specifically about (Apparel, Consumer Electronics, Entertainment Tickets & Digital Goods), consumers said they preferred the mobile shopping experience to the PC in the United States. For the physical goods categories (Apparel, Consumer Electronics & Entertainment tickets), they still preferred the in-store experience to both PC & mobile. Implication: Consumers are ahead of the industry and see the value/promise of the mobile channel as a key part of the overall shopping experience. Consumers primarily use the mobile Web to native apps when shopping via their devices. Implication: The right strategy for retailers is a mobile website plus app. Consumers have varying preferences when using their devices, but apps must add real, sustained value to be successful. The majority of consumers said they have been influenced by mobile ads to make a purchase. Rates vary by vertical, but anywhere between 54% (Digital Goods) to 68% (Consumer Electronics) of consumers said they have been influenced by mobile ads to make a purchase. Implication: Exposing consumers to an advertiser's brand and marketing in the mobile channel does have a direct impact on influencing purchasing decisions. Consumers see value in mobile ads introducing them to something new, which tied with the massive reach and scale of the mobile channel, means brands must consider mobile in their overall marketing strategy.
There are many surveys all with different projections on mobile commerce and mobile shopping. What is particularly distinguishing about your method and results?
Our research follows standard survey methodology practices (sampling, weighting & balancing) and is based on a large sample of mobile Web consumers. The primary purpose of this research was to get consumer perspective, providing insight to their behavior on their devices, how they use them and how satisfied they are. These findings help us understand how we, as marketers, can better adapt to consumer preferences and successfully market to them.
What makes mobile such an appealing retail channel?
It's all about convenience and ease of use. The primary draw to the mobile device is that it's a convenient channel that consumers always have within reach. Of course, there is a lot of value in the mobility of the device that provides unique value, such as location based services, selective couponing, etc.
What should retailers and payments professionals take away from this study?
The key is that mobile should be a core part of any retailer's strategy as it is evident that consumers already see the value in this channel. Consumers tell us they prefer the mobile channel to PC and are therefore far ahead of where resources and retailer strategies lie.
Surag Patel Director, Global Research InMobi Surag joined InMobi in November 2010 as Director of Global Research. As a media research veteran, he is charged with driving market research efforts to provide mobile thought leadership to the community. Through transparent monthly research reports, InMobi aims to help elevate the collective knowledge of mobile media across the industry. Prior to InMobi, Surag spent five years at comScore, leading advertising effectiveness research and development of the Ad EffxTM suite of products. He focused on research across various online media types, from search to video, among numerous industries. The Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) the leading authority in advertising research has twice recognized Surag, as a Rising Star finalist in 2008 and as an Innovation Award finalist in 2010. Prior to his work at comScore Surag was with Siemens Medical and RTI International, a nonprofit start-up incubator. Surag holds a BS in Computer Engineering from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, and a Masters in Engineering Management from Duke University.