It might not be a surprise any longer, but smartphones are moving ahead of PCs or laptops as the digital device of choice for a majority of users. A survey of 2,147 U.S. adults by Local Search Association (LSA) and Thrive Analytics cited several statistics to show why and how mobile phones have become so important.
LSA said that Mobile Fanatics (active users) tend to shop – a lot – and that 60-percent of adults use their smartphones for information on where to go and find products and services.
LSA also cited the US Commerce Department, which said that “roughly 70% of the nearly $18 trillion US GDP is driven by consumer spending that occurs within 20 miles of home or work.” In 2014, $300 million of that was e-commerce (still lagging behind offline shopping) but the number demonstrates the increasing importance of online retailing and the numbers growing even higher as mobile users are increasing their activities along with the heightened e-commerce numbers. LSA stated that “…40 percent of consumers use a desktop PC or laptop when looking for local information online, a nine percent decrease from 2014.”
“’Mobile Fanatics are a new and growing consumer segment…,” said Neg Norton, President at LSA. “’Mobile Fanatics are ‘always shopping’ and considering products no matter their location, allowing them to be reached anytime and anywhere.”
Norton says that understanding Mobile Fanatics is not just about their need to shop – but where and what to shop. In other words, what is relevant to these “mobile fanatics?” Norton admits that PCs and laptops still are very important and that the mobile revolution has not quite reached the “tipping point” but is making a measurable change in what people are using to research companies and consumer products.
There is growing evidence that mobile phone users are increasing dependent on their devices and some may even think they are tethered to them for all sorts of reasons from messaging to shopping. The LSA study found the following:
- 52 percent of smartphone users look for local information in the car or on-the-go
- 90 percent of all users have used their devices while shopping; 54 percent of smartphone users look for deals and 51 percent of users compare prices
- 45 percent of “Mobile Fanatics” use store apps to find information about products and services while shopping in store
“Consumers now cycle through online and offline media gathering information all the way through the purchasing process. It’s an exciting time for marketers knowing that with the right content they can influence a consumer’s decision at any time due to the rise of mobile,” said Norton.
For brands, the intersection of online reputation management and mobile marketing is a key to future success. According to Weber Shandwick, 83% of consumers say online reviews influence their perception of a company and 81% of consumers say online search results influence their perception of a company. Retail companies need to focus on how their company appears online in order to win a customer in a hypercompetitive online environment.