The maturation of the mobile phone market has put a powerful shopping tool in the hands of an ever-growing number of consumers. And recent research shows that they are taking full advantage of it.
According to a February 2012 survey of online US adult mobile phone owners commissioned by advertising company Placecast and conducted by Harris Interactive, one in five mobile phone owners has made a purchase online via their device. 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.