Use of mobile phones as an in-store shopping tool on rise

Insights revealed in fourth annual Hipcricket mobile marketing survey

KIRKLAND, Wash. — Mobile retail websites have emerged as an indispensible in-store tool for consumers as they shop, according to a new survey conducted by Hipcricket, an Augme Technologies company, that was released Thursday.

“The mobile Web has entered the mainstream, and consumers are using mobile retail sites as an important tool in the shopping process,” Hipcricket COO Eric Harber said. “While consumers are actively searching the mobile retail Web, they also continue to wait for their favorite brands to engage with them on their mobile devices. This defines a huge opportunity for retailers and brands alike to create valuable conversations with their customers across all mobile channels.”

The fourth annual Hipcricket mobile marketing survey found that as many as 63% of smartphone users have visited a retailer’s website from their mobile device — up from 53% in 2010 — and 41% have done so while in the retail store. And half of those surveyed had checked a competitor’s mobile website while shopping.

The survey found that smartphone owners are visiting mobile retail sites to:

  • Research prices (46%);

  • Search for coupons and offers (36%);

  • Research products (28%); and

  • Purchase products (13%).

When asked if any of their favorite brands market to them via their mobile phone, only 9% replied “yes,” essentially holding steady with figures from 2010. At the same time, consumers continue to indicate a willingness to join mobile customer relationship management or loyalty programs for their favorite brands — 33% would be interested in joining such a program, but only 12% currently participate in one. Three-out-of-4 consumers found value from participating in mobile loyalty clubs.

Other significant findings from the survey include: 

  • 61% of smartphone users are at least somewhat likely to use their mobile device while shopping this holiday season;

  • 31% of all mobile phone users have interacted with a brand through their mobile device, up slightly from 2010 (30%) — while 59% of smartphone users have done so; and

  • 33% of cell phones users are interested in receiving offers based on time and location — a coupon delivered at 4 p.m. for $5 off a pizza at a local shop that night only, for example. 

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