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Kiwis embrace mobile shopping

25 November 2013

Kiwis embrace mobile shopping

Kiwis are increasingly relying on their smartphones and tablets for shopping, with more than half of mobile shoppers influenced by some form of online promotion and a majority admitting to a practice known as “showrooming”.

Leading research firm Colmar Brunton recently asked New Zealanders about their use of mobile devices for shopping. The results provided some real insights into the proliferation of smart devices for shopping and what marketing cues Kiwis are responding to.

Colmar Brunton Innovation and Development Director Vanessa Clark says while mobile shoppers use both tablets and smartphones, they tend to use them in different ways.

“Browsing products is the most common shopping task on a tablet while banking heads off all other shopping related activity on smartphones.”

The largest numbers of tablet owners use their devices for browsing products (64%), comparing prices (55%), banking (55%), comparing products (50%) and purchasing products (49%).

As well as banking (47%) smartphones are most popular for browsing products (41%) and comparing prices (46%) while just over a quarter of owners (26%) use them for purchasing.

Ms Clark says while friends remain the biggest influencers over mobile shopper behaviour just over half (52%) are influenced by at least one form of online advertising such as emails (32%), Facebook (27%) and online advertisements (19%).

“There’s not a big gap between the effectiveness of more traditional email marketing and Facebook, which suggests people are increasingly seeing Facebook as a key resource for getting a deal.”

Shopping apps and websites are also popular amongst mobile shoppers but the majority need to be familiar with a brand or store before they will download an app or use a shopping website. This presents an opportunity for retailers to strengthen their relationship with customers, particularly those they already have on their customer database, through offering an app.

“We know from previous surveys that trust is critical for brand success and this is still essential in mobile shopping.”

For those who do use shopping apps, 81% rate ease of navigation as the most important app characteristic on smartphones and 77% for tablets. This outstrips money saving offers and all other characteristics of mobile shopping apps.

“The bottom line is, if you want to get mobile shoppers to respond to an app and come back to it, it’s all about making it easy to use. This is particularly important for smartphones where screen space can be limited.”
Almost 60% of mobile shoppers have undertaken the practice known as showrooming – looking for a better deal on their smartphone while in a shop before deciding whether to purchase something in store.

“This underlines the reliance on mobile devices for getting the best deal. These shoppers are prepared to walk out of shops and purchase their chosen product online or at another store based on their mobile research in store,” Ms Clark says. It also demonstrates the need for the in store experience to engage customers to the extent that the store price is worth it.

Kiwis also have strong feelings about what they will and won’t buy on their smartphones and tablets. Music and books have the greatest mobile shopping momentum. Only 6% of those surveyed have never bought music on their mobile devices and only 5% have avoided purchasing books. Shoes (29%) and clothes (20%) are the items that the most respondents said they would never buy via mobile purchase.

“While mobile shoppers are prepared to purchase most items, shoes and clothes, due to their try-before-you-buy nature, have the least momentum. There is also resistance to big ticket items such as technology and electronics.
Colmar Brunton interviewed 1024 online New Zealanders in September this year. The survey has a margin of error of + or – 3.1%.


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