M-commerce is creating a far richer variety of consumer purchasing patterns and journeys, according to fresh European research by performance-marketing firm Tradedoubler.
With smartphone and tablet use booming, consumers are increasingly using their mobile devices as ‘shopping assistants’ – using them to research, locate and purchase goods and services online, via mobile, and on the high street.
This broad range of purchasing patterns and journeys is set to challenge all retailers who are unprepared, according to Tradedoubler.
The research, carried out by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Tradedoubler, looked at the purchasing patterns of more than 2,000 smartphone users in the UK, France, Germany and Sweden.
The findings reveal that mobile access to product information, store locations, location-based offers, voucher codes, comparison sites, barcode scanners, product reviews and purchase tracking is making the traditional, linear in-store approach to purchasing something of the past.
“This research represents a wake-up call for all businesses that still believe an m-commerce strategy is a ‘nice to have’ rather than business critical,” said Urban Gillström, CEO, Tradedoubler. “Consumers increasingly expect a seamless, multi-touch, multi-channel experience across mobile, online and in-store platforms. The future belongs to the advertisers that can deliver that, but it can be difficult for them to know where to start.”
Consumers seek out the best offers
More than 71% of smartphone users across all four countries research potential purchases via mobile, and 53% buy goods and services other than downloads via their mobile device. Even when smartphone users are in a high street store, 42% compare prices and 13% switch stores after finding a better offer elsewhere. Location-based offers or vouchers were found to help secure the interest of a fifth of potential buyers. Overall, one in four mobile research sessions ends with a purchase being completed on the phone itself.
Tablet users amongst the highest spenders
Similarly, survey results for tablets demonstrate the power of this new platform – with 40% of users researching a potential purchase and 33% going on to complete a transaction.
The research also shows that tablet users are amongst the highest mobile spenders, with the average highest amount spent quoted at £185 – compared to £113 on mobile.
Simplicity and relevance are key on mobile-optimised sites
The research also shows that the lack of clear and easy-to-navigate mobile-optimised sites causes problems for more than a third of European consumers – and more than a quarter of resondents said they would buy via mobile more frequently if websites were properly optimised.
Privacy and security are major concerns
The biggest consumer concerns are around data privacy and payment security, and Tradedoubler says that it’s vital that these obstacles are overcome if m-commerce is to gain mainstream acceptance across Europe.