You can buy literally anything online nowadays. Better yet, you can do almost all of it from your smartphone. No longer are you tied to the desk, couch or the coffee shop to do your online shopping. You could buy the latest Groupon for your yoga class from a mountain peak in the Cascades (cell signal dependent, of course), your baby-shower gift while flying down I-5 (assuming you’re not driving) or flowers for your sweetie while hustling along Pike Street (because you forgot their birthday).
Kinesis Survey Technologies sums it up in The Mobile Survey Landscape – Today and Tomorrow:
“Smartphones and mobile Internet usage are impacting virtually every industry in every corner of the world. How we communicate, send and receive information, conduct business, and entertain ourselves is evolving because of these new technologies.”
The Nielsen Company recently reported that 28 percent of US mobile subscribers have smartphones, as of the third quarter of 2010, up from 17 percent in 2008. Just for the record, we’re still lagging behind Europe. In Italy, 33 percent of mobile users have a smartphone and 37 percent in Spain. But the trend shows no signs of slowing down, according to Nielsen in their Mobile Snapshot column:
“Among those who acquired a new cellphone in the past six months, 41 percent opted for a smartphone over a standard feature phone, up from 35 percent last quarter.”
Of the growing percentage of smartphone users, an increasing number of them are doing their shopping online. A recent survey by Adobe showed that 62 percent of respondents have purchased goods from their smartphones in the past six months. The majority of consumers who made purchases fell within the 18-49 age range, and of those respondents, approximately 46 percent purchased items in the shrink-wrapped entertainment category of movies, music and games. The consumer goods category of clothing, shoes and jewelry came in second with 31 percent, followed by electronics at 30 percent and books, magazines and newspapers at 28 percent.
Why do these numbers matter? In order to be effective in marketing your product, one must adapt to the growing trends of the market. If you think this is only a fad, think again. The younger the customer, the higher amount of tech-knowledge they have and the more they implement high-tech solutions.
The Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project showed that 85 percent of Americans on average have their own mobile phone, according to their recent “Generations and their gadgets” survey. Furthermore, they found that 95 percent of Millennials (ages 18-34) have their own cellphone. More cellphones equal more smartphones.
As we covered in one of blog posts last fall, two-thirds of respondents still preferred using mobile websites over downloadable apps to make their purchases. But no matter which way you sell, make sure your customer can access your product, which means via an app or a website that’s easily accessible for mobile-browsing.
An article in iMedia Connection’s blog, An Example of Mobile Best Practices by Top Brands, reaffirms the necessity of having a mobile website. Surprisingly, however, the author found that only 24 out of the 50 most popular brands have one!
Sheila Dahlgren, senior director of product marketing in San Francisco for Adobe, tells it like it is in an interview with Mobile Commerce Daily’s Dan Butcher:
“Retailers and merchants: Mobile shopping and commerce is a reality, so invest in mobile and be ready for your shoppers.
As mobile becomes an important purchase channel, online retailers—including those selling high-ticket, discretionary goods—should consider integrating online commerce into their mobility roadmap.
Thanks to their ability to deliver desktop-like experiences that are rich in content and functionality, browser-enabled smartphones are spurring major shifts in shopping behavior.”
Now that’s smart shopping.