More than one out of every three (35 percent) shoppers today use mobile devices as part of their purchasing process, a 10 percent hike from 2012, according to new results from a shopper behavior study. Much of the change comes from sharp increases from three demographic groups: Hispanics, Asian-Americans and the rather wide age range of 15-49.
To be fair, the new stats from the 2-year study by the Integer Group and M/A/R/C Research explore any role a mobile device would play, including research (price comparisons, searching for products) both instore and offline. That's certainly legitimate when exploring the total impact of mobile devices on shoppers, but using an Android at home to verify the exact address of the nearest Home Depot is a far cry from using Apple Pay to make a purchase.
The study does make it clear, though, that mobile use of almost every kind is increasing. Not surprising, but worthy of note.
The demographic changes—all year-over-year--included an 11 percent boost for Hispanic shoppers and a 10 percent boost for Asian-American consumers, according to a report in Drug Store News.
The age demographic changes were slightly more interesting, in that they challenged—albeit mildly—the widely-held assumption that it's the youngest consumers who are most quickly embracing mobile. The 15-34 segment grew at 10 percent, but the 35-49 group grew slightly faster, at 12 percent.
It should be noted that drawing conclusions from these stats are difficult, in that the study didn't note all of the initial numbers. For example, that 15-34 group might have only increased 10 percent because it had been so much more enthralled with mobile back in 2012. If that were the case, it wouldn't challenge the "younger shoppers love mobile the most" assumption at all.
The study also explored mobile's apparent impact on shopping speed.
"The study shows 15 percent of shoppers said that typically only a 'couple of minutes' passed between discovering a product (on their mobile device) and purchase. Males were more likely than females (17 percent and 13 percent, respectively) to make these quick-turn purchases, and mobile-savvy Hispanics reported the shortest time mobile shopping, with 47 percent of purchases were made within a few hours of product discovery," the story reported. "This acceleration of purchase is indicative of what shoppers look for when using their mobile devices in store or for purchase: information and convenience. In-store shoppers use their mobile devices to compare prices (39 percent) and look up product reviews (25 percent). This mirrors their priorities for shopping on their smartphones: spending as little as possible (55 percent) and finding the best-quality items (49 percent)."
One somewhat discouraging stat from the report. "Fewer than one in 10 shoppers will download a retailer's app," the story noted.