Mobile devices are ‘indispensable’ when shopping

Mobile devices have become “indispensable shopping buddies”, according to a new survey by research group Nielsen.

The Global Mobile Shopping, Banking and Payment Report revealed that many consumers rely on their mobile devices to help make decisions when shopping.

More than half of the 30,000 people surveyed said that they use their mobile device when shopping to compare prices (53%) or look up product information (52%). Another four in 10 use their device to look for coupons or deals (44%), make better shopping decisions (42%) or make shopping trips quicker or more efficient (41%).

But consumers aren’t just using their devices as a shopping aid, the survey showed. Increasingly, they are also using them to make purchases. Nielsen found that 38% of respondents had purchased a product or service on their mobile device in the past six months, and 34% had used a mobile app to make a purchase in the same period.

“Mobile commerce has enormous implications for the entire retail ecosystem,” commented Stuart Tagg, Financial Services leader at Nielsen Europe. “Mobile devices are not only bringing new consumers into the modern, connected economy, but they are also enabling a more customised experience, as products and services can be more closely tailored to behaviours, needs and preferences.

“But driving higher adoption and usage starts when companies develop a deep understanding of how consumers are shopping and transacting in a digital world and then use that understanding to design strategies around their habits and preferences.”

The findings illustrate just how important it is for retailers to optimise the mobile experience, Tagg said.

“A poor mobile experience may lead to lower conversion rates and drive shoppers to competitors’ storefronts, sites or apps,” he explained. “Retailers developing mobile products should keep in mind four fundamental shopper needs: ease, convenience, choice and value. That is, the solution should satisfy a variety of trip purposes and deliver strong value for money in a way that requires less time and effort.”

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