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Mobile Shopping Becoming Commonplace For Consumers

3/26/2012 12:01:00 AM Eastern

NEW YORK – M-commerce is well
on its way to becoming a routine
method of shopping, separate studies
by Nielsen and PriceGrabber suggest.

Nielsen, which metered the smartphones
of 5,000 U.S. volunteers,
said the majority of owners used their
devices for shopping this past holiday
season, and that consumers are
increasingly using smartphones to
compare prices, research products
and reviews, find retail locations and
redeem coupons.

“Mobile shopping has reached
scale and is only going to grow as
smartphone penetration continues to
rise,” said John Burbank, Nielsen’s
strategic initiatives president.

The five top retail apps and websites
combined — led by Amazon and
followed by eBay, Target, Walmart
and Best Buy — reached nearly 60
percent of smartphone owners during
the 2011 holiday season, Nielsen
noted. Owners prefer retailers’ mobile
websites over mobile apps, the
research showed, although consumers
who use retailers’ mobile apps
tend to spend more time on them.

“Retailers need to think of their
business as a multichannel environment that can potentially include
mobile, online and bricks-and-mortar
stores,” Burbank advised. “Winning
with shoppers requires a consistent
experience across channels that reinforces
the values you represent as a
retail brand, whether it be price, service,
reviews, selection, style or other
key attributes.”

The propensity to shop with handheld
devices appears even higher
among tablet users. According to
a recent poll by PriceGrabber, fully
77 percent of consumers with tablet
computers use a tablet or a smartphone
to shop, with most making purchases
more than once a month.

Specifically, 40 percent of tablet
owners said they make purchases
with their tablet or smartphone twice
a month, 23 percent do so once a
week, 20 percent indicated a few
times a year, and 10 percent said
daily. Tablet owners also have an average
of seven shopping apps loaded
onto their mobile devices, the survey
showed.

“PriceGrabber continues to see a
dramatic surge in mobile shopping,
with more consumers making purchases
from their mobile devices,”
said Graham Jones, general manager
of online comparison shopping
site. “We expect mobile shopping to
be game-changing as consumers increasingly
enact various strategies to
find the best prices and retailers inevitably
expand their mobile presence.”

Separately, a recent consumer survey
by market research firm ClickIQ
found that Best Buy does the best
job of keeping mobile shoppers in the
house, while Amazon remains the biggest
m-commerce beneficiary with
double-digit conversions.

Best Buy manages to convert 35
percent of shoppers who use a mobile
device to research a product
while inside its stores, the study
showed, while another 14 percent
make the purchase on BestBuy.com.

However, 21 percent end up buying
the product from Amazon.com.

Best Buy is also frequented most
often for in-store research, with 36
percent of respondents visiting its
brick-and-mortar locations to shop.
Walmart followed at 30 percent, but
only retained 36 percent of sales by
in-store mobile shoppers (26 percent
in-store and 10 percent online) and
lost 24 percent to Amazon.

Third-place Target drew 29 percent
of in-store mobile shoppers but converted
29 percent in-store, 8 percent
online, and lost 21 percent to Amazon.

Sixty-seven percent of respondents
said price was the biggest determinant
of where they made the final
purchase. Lagging behind was availability
(14 percent), features (8 percent),
free shipping (7 percent) and
“already at the store” (4 percent).

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