Mobile media aids purchasing process for 'extreme' shoppers, research finds

NEW YORK — Smartphones and tablets are assisting "extreme" shoppers, according to new research conducted by GfK.

Known for being savvy and self-reliant, this new demographic of consumers tout smartphones and tablets to assist with value seeking, information gathering, social media access and transactions. GfK found that among consumers with a smartphone or tablet, 50% used a mobile device to compare prices while shopping, 44% looked for a coupon, 33% “liked” a retailer on Facebook and 17% bought a product using a mobile application. Additionally, these shoppers said they feel “more in control than ever before” when it comes to choosing the best products and services (9% above the average consumer), that they are shopping more efficiently (8% more than the average consumer), and that they are using new sources to “find the things that [they] need” (13% above the average consumer). What's more, nearly 25% of mobile-enabled shoppers have used brick-and-mortar stores for “showrooming” – checking out a product in person and then purchasing it online via a smartphone.

And when it comes the age of "extreme" shoppers, young adults (ages 18 to 34 years) are the primary drivers of these mobile shopping behaviors; these consumers are more than three times as likely to report using a smartphone or tablet for shopping (34% versus 10%), compared with older counterparts ages 50 to 64 years.

GfK noted that these findings underscore the need for marketers and retailers to adapt and also presents fresh opportunities for brands to engage and win over consumers.

“Mobile and online shopping are not just confined to big-ticket items; our research shows that the mobile trend is substantially impacting food and beverage, health and beauty, and even lawn and garden," GfK SVP digital technology Rob Barrish said. Regardless of the brand, choosing the right mobile opportunities – from coupons to co-creation of new products – is essential to making digital efforts effective.”

The new mobile study is based on 1,008 interviews conducted from March 16 to 18, as part of GfK’s online omnibus, OmniWeb.

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