Search, Retailer Emails Initiate Many Smartphone Owners’ Local Shopping Activities

October 1, 2013

LocalCorpetailinggroup-Smartphone-Shopping-Activity-Drivers-Oct20132 in 3 smartphone shoppers say they’re spending significantly (33%) or somewhat (34%) more time researching store-based needs on their devices this year, according to a new study [download page] from Local Corporation and the e-tailing group. The study also indicates that 1 in 2 shoppers research products at least half of the time on their smartphones when intending to make a purchase locally. With respondents using their smartphone for a range of activities – including accessing information and coupons – the study examines the most common initiation points for such activities.

Asked from where their smartphone activities are most often initiated, a majority of respondents cited generic search results (58%), followed by mobile search with local availability (47%) and retailer emails (46%). Mobile applications (41%) followed relatively closely, with social channels such as Facebook retail advertising (28%), Twitter (15%) and Pinterest (13%) further back on the list.

Those findings tend to follow broader e-commerce trends, with search engines referring the largest share of e-commerce site visitors, according to a recent Monetate report, followed by email and social.

Unsurprisingly, the Local Corporation study finds that smartphone owners often perform a variety of tasks using their smartphones once in-store. Almost 2 in 3 said they are definitely or very likely to access promotional coupons for redemption at the store, while roughly 6 in 10 are similarly likely to look for competitive pricing on Amazon, check product ratings and reviews, and look up competitive prices online beyond Amazon.

About half of the respondents reported being likely to scan barcodes in-store, whether to compare prices to other retailers (53%) or to learn more about a specific product (50%). Close to 4 in 10 said they were likely to make a purchase using their smartphone from another retailer.

About the Data: The online survey of 1,005 consumers was completed in August 2013 and was evenly split across gender lines. All respondents were pre-qualified for smartphone ownership and had shopped at least several times per month online spending at least $250 annually. From a demographic standpoint, a cross-section of consumers by age that aligned with the Internet population was utilized where 45% earned $75K or more and 54% had at least a college education while 54% had children in the household.

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