Gender Differences Emerge in Smartphone Shopping Behavior

February 23, 2012

comscore-in-store-smartphone-shopping-activities-feb-2012.jpgMen and women display different patterns of smartphone shopping behavior while in a retail store, with women more likely to engage in a variety of social activities, according to [download page] a February 2012 report from comScore. Looking at the 3-month average ending in December 2011, comScore found that women were 22% more likely than men to take a product picture (24% vs. 19.7%), 38.4% more likely to send those pictures to friends or family (20.2% vs. 16.2%), and 18.6% more likely to text or call family or friends about a specific product (22.3% vs. 18.8%).

By contrast, men were more likely to use their smartphone to find information: they were 26% more likely than women to scan a product barcode (20.4% vs. 16.2%), 41% more likely to compare product prices (14.1% vs. 10%), and 51.4% more likely to research product features (10.9% vs. 7.2%).

Comparison Shopping Prevalent

nielsen-mobile-shopping-activities-q32011-feb-2012.jpgFebruary data from Nielsen also shows smartphone owners using their devices for a number of shopping activities. According to Nielsen’s report, in Q3 2011, 38% of smartphone owners used their device to compare prices online while shopping in a store, matched by the proportion who used their device to browse products through websites or applications. Other popular activities included reading online reviews of products (32%), searching for/using online coupons (24%), purchasing products (22%), scanning a barcode for price/product information (22%), using location-based services to find a retail location (18%), and placing a bid through an online auction (15%).

Users Interested in Device as Credit Card

Although Nielsen found that only 9% of smartphone shoppers have used their device to pay at the register, the desire to do so is apparent: 71% of application downloaders said they would be interested in an app that allows them to use their device as a credit card. iPhone users (75%) were more interested in this option than Android users (67%), with almost 2 in 5 iPhone users saying they would be either very interested (21%) or extremely interested (18%) in an app with that ability.

US Leads in QR Code Scanning

Meanwhile, data from comScore’s “2012 Mobile Future in Focus” indicates that US smartphone owners are more likely than their counterparts in a variety of other countries to have scanned a QR code. For the 3-month average ending in December 2011, 20.3% of US smartphone owners reported having scanned a QR code, ahead of device owners in Canada (16.1%) and Germany (15.6%). France (12.6%), the UK (12.3%), and Spain (11.9%) followed, while just 1 in 10 smartphone owners in Italy reported having scanned a QR code.

Product Info Leading Result

Of the US smartphone owners that scanned a QR code, the most popular source of scanning was product packaging (by 42% of the scanning population), while the most popular location for scanning was at home (by 57% of scanners). The most popular result was receiving product information, with 73.3% of the scanning audience directed to this information. 32.2% of scanners received a coupon or offer, while about one-quarter received event information. Other results included charity/cause information (12.7%) and application download (10.9%).

These results roughly align with the reasons consumers give for scanning QR codes: according to a survey released in January 2012 by Chadwick Martin Bailey, among consumers who have scanned a QR code, the top reason for doing so was curiosity (46%), followed by getting more information (41%). 18% scanned a QR code to take advantage of a discount, coupon, or free gift, slightly ahead of the proportion who did so to gain access to exclusive content (16%). Interestingly, although 18% of QR code scanners made a purchase after their scan, just 6% cited buying something as the reason for scanning.

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