Evolution or Revolution?
It is no secret that mobile has had a great impact on the way consumers purchase products from research to finalizing the transaction. With the fast technology advancement and the increasing adoption of smartphones reaching over 35% in 2012, more and more users around the globe incorporate their mobile to at least a single stage of their overall purchasing decision process. From a quick store look up to an NFC transaction, mobile has shifted the overall buying experience for the consumers.
In average, 30% of all consumers have ever made a purchase through a smart phone while 60% of smart phone owners make at least one purchase a month via smart phone. One in five makes a purchase on a daily basis and it is reported that 52% of all smartphone owners use their mobile devices to help them in purchasing decisions.
Retail and/or brand loyalty has seen a downfall in recent years as in many cases consumers are willing to go to a competitor’s store or delay their purchase until they locate the right combination of value and quality among with user recommendations and reviews. Consumers are frequently using their smartphones to ensure the product they intent to purchase is the most highly-rated product and always at the best price. Ultimately one in five of users who conduct mobile price match research made their most recent purchase from an online or mobile store, rather than a physical location.
As it is clear that purchasing behavior has changed and we are shifting towards a more mobilized and on the spot decision making when it comes to purchases, there is the need to identify the various stages that mobile get involved in the purchase decision process as well as the various mechanism and tools used that mobile marketers utilize to trigger users and result in purchase, mobile or not.
Mobile in the Decision Process
The first key mobile insight every mobile marketer and advertiser should consider is that consumers utilize the power of their smartphone and the mobile web at most, if not all, different points in their purchase decision process. 41% of those consumers who used their mobile phones to assist in their product research said they made a purchase directly on their smartphone. 46% said they researched an item on their smartphone then went to a store to finalize the transaction while 37% said they researched an item on their smartphone then made their purchase online through the brand’s website or another online retailer.
Mobile plays a very important role in the traditional purchasing decision cycle:
- Awareness – One of the most common strategies to create product or service awareness on mobile is through mobile advertising, placing banners and rich media Ad units on popular and premium mobile properties. Marketers and brands promote and advertise new products, creating product awareness
- Research – From “couch” research to in-store research, mobile plays a very important role enabling consumers to retrieve vital information on the product, compare prices and locate business to purchase the product from
- Review – More and more consumers base their purchase decision on third party reviews. Mobile has become one of the most influential read reviews from fellow users or friends. A recent study suggests that 24% of smartphone users intentionally carry their mobile phones with theme while shopping to compare prices, derive product information and read reviews from other consumers
- Evaluation – Mobile couponing, discount offers and mCRM communities play an vital part in the evaluation process, providing consumers with the extra motive to seal the deal and make the purchase
- Purchase – With the introduction of NFC technologies in mobile devices and mPayments becoming more and more user friendly, mobile plays and will play a differentiator factor in making the last call and completing the transaction.
Every mobile step in the buying decision process is as important as the previous. But they all have to be accommodated by the most important mobile solution of all, a mobile website presence. Without a mobile optimized site 75% of consumers reaching out to retrieve information or conduct market research leave the page and go to competitor’s site and/or search for an alternative solution.