Two-third consumers in US use mobile to shop: CTA

February 27, 2017 - United States Of America

About 60 per cent e-shoppers in the US use phones for shopping and two thirds (67 per cent) search online for additional product information, according to a new research from Consumer Technology Association (CTA). The report says that online and mobile research leading to a brick-and-mortar in-store purchase remains the primary way consumers make decisions.

The Path to Purchase Using Mobile Devices Market Research report by CTA says that the increasing use of smartphones for shopping has drastically impacted the consumer's path to purchase. About nine in ten mobile device owners (90 per cent) have at least one subscription to access coupons, promotions, and special discounts.

"Every step of the consumer's path to purchase has dramatically changed with the use of smartphones, from triggering interest in considering technology products to purchase and sometimes post purchase behavior that includes posting online reviews. The retail market continues to change with the innovations associated with smartphone technologies – such as location-based services and apps – creating new opportunities for both brick-and-mortar and online retailers to meet the changing needs of consumers," said Steve Koenig, senior director, market research, CTA.

The report also states that consumers strongly prefer mobile-optimised websites over apps. They seek value, exclusivity and authenticity, as well as personalised content and deals based on location, all of which mobile devices can provide. Despite high ownership of mobile devices, 41 per cent of consumers use a desktop or laptop to assist in shopping.

About 61 per cent of purchases are made in-store, with 29 per cent of consumers searching for product information while shopping in-store. While consumers say smartphones offer quick access to information, using a phone in-store is distracting, reveals the report.

Most online purchases are made via online-only retailer websites (51 per cent), such as Amazon or Newegg, rather than with online-only retailer apps (24 per cent), or multichannel retailer websites or apps. Close to 76 per cent of consumers use existing online accounts to make a purchase, the remaining use guest checkout options or sign up for a new account, notes the CTA research.

US online consumer spending via mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets almost doubled during the 2016 holiday season – increasing 45 per cent to $20.1 billion.

"Mobile connectivity that delivers anytime/anywhere access and information is one of the driving trends of our time, and our shopping preferences reflect that evolution," added Koenig.

The report represents the findings of a quantitative study administered via internet form to an online national sample of 1,009 US adults between October 31 and November 3, 2016. (KD)