Has Holiday Season Already Passed You By?

The retail experience has changed forever now that people rely on their mobile devices for product information while they shop.

The impact of mobile on shopping and commerce was also the focus of proprietary research I introduced last June. My findings highlighted precisely how consumers use their social networks to get input and advice at a brand’s “Moments of Trust”.  The result is profound impact on sales and loyalty.

Interestingly, Yahoo has released insights that confirm my findings and help us better understand the impact of mobile Internet on mobile shopping and purchases. Yahoo teamed up with Nielsen to interview 8,384 U.S. residents ages 13-64 via an online quantitative survey. Of this sample: 5,313 were mobile Internet users who access information related to at least one of 12 product categories. 3,071 were PC/laptop Internet users who access information related to at least one of the 12 product categories and could not access any category Internet information on a mobile device.

So, what is the place of mobile in our shopping experience? Yahoo findings indicate mobile is at the center of the in-store action, making mobile devices a great advertising vehicle for retailers. In fact, a whopping nine out of 10 mobile users have accessed the mobile Internet while they were actually in the store. What’s more, approximately 50 percent of in-store mobile web activity is related to shopping. And people also share while they shop. Almost half (48 percent) of in-store mobile users take and/or send a picture of a product they are considering buying to a friend or family member.

Among the key findings:

  • 51 percent of consumers indicated that they do make a purchase after doing research on their mobile device.
  • On average 16 percent use their mobile phones for shopping research, but interest for this in the next 12 months is extremely high at 57 percent among mobile Internet users and 41 percent among non-mobile Internet users, on average.
  • One in 5 mobile shoppers who have seen advertising during the shopping process say they always look at it. The key to being successful in mobile shopping advertising is to make sure the ads are informative.

It’s 100 degrees in many places, but towel off and lock in your mobile strategy for the holiday season. Marketers and retailers alike have to ask (and answer) some tough questions: How will you influence your customers at the point of sale? Are your salespersons ready for shoppers who have instant access to information, product reviews, and competitors’ prices? Is there a plan for consumers who are using mobile to speak about your products and services (or just let off steam) via their social networks? You can forget the holidays (and celebrating anything any time soon), if you haven’t figured even the basics of where mobile fits in your business.

More from my MobileGroove column http://www.mobilegroove.com/lock-down-your-mobile-strategy-now-for-holiday-season/