Smartphones have moved beyond the early adopter phase and have hit adoption among consumers. According to Nielsen, 50% of consumers in the US have a smartphone. As a result, smartphones are staring to influence the shopping experience as 40% of consumers used a smartphone on their last shopping visit. Sprint and Barkley conducted the “Sprint Mobile Moment of Truth” study. The study combines a national survey of mobile-empowered shoppers with in-depth ethnographic research.
Smartphone usage is greatest in the mass channel where there is no difference between the usage of smartphones among Millennials and non-Millennials. Traditional grocery has the second highest smartphone usage among retail channels.
What is important to understand is how consumers are using their smartphones throughout the grocery shopping experience.
- PRIOR to shopping, smartphones are being used to locate a store, compare products and read production reviews.
- WHILE shopping, smartphones are used to compare prices and take pictures.
- POST shopping, smartphones are used to tell or show friends what they purchased and compare the price paid to other places.
Smartphones are having an impact on the shopping experience. Forty-seven percent of consumers indicated their smartphones influenced purchases while shopping at a grocery store. Additionally, smartphones are making the shopping experience functionally and emotionally better.
Two key trends with mobile phone usage while shopping:
- Shoptimizers – using a mobile phone for multiple purposes to aid in the shopping experience such as making a shopping list, checking recipes while in-store and comparing prices while in-store.
- Showrooming – purchasing something online after visiting one or more stores in person, which has a larger influence on durable goods vs. food items.
Mobile should be part of CPG brand’s communication mix. Don’t think apps, as the research study validated that consumers are disappointed with most apps because they don’t deliver utility, information or trust. Do think about providing quick and easy recipes, encouraging social sharing, promote product reviews (as peer endorsement is stronger than expert among Millennials) and coupons (as coupon technology continues to grow).
Mobile will only increase its relevancy, adoption and usage to make shopping easier, more convenient, more affordable and more enjoyable.