Source: eMarketer, MAY 21, 2013
Clothing and beauty were top mobile shopping categories
There is no question that mobile is becoming an essential shopping tool for many US moms. According to a March 2013 survey from retail solutions company Alliance Data, more than half of surveyed mom internet users reported using their smartphone or tablet at least weekly for some aspect of shopping, whether it be research or buying. And 35% of respondents said they used their device daily for shopping purposes.
Mobile’s usefulness for shopping is easy to see. Convenience and a better ability to price compare were the top reasons moms’ reported using their device as they moved through the purchase funnel.
Clothing and beauty ranked as the top product categories for which moms shopped on their smartphones and tablets, at 56% and 47%, respectively. Households products ranked third, researched by 42% of respondents, a significant figure for CPG brands, which have already moved quickly into the mobile advertising space.
Showrooming—the practice of going into stores to compare products and prices, often using mobile to shop around—is common among moms, as well. At both electronics and big-box retailers, half of mom mobile shoppers surveyed said they used their smartphone or tablet to look up product and price info. This was slightly less common at clothing, grocery and shoe stores, but more than one-third of respondents still had shopped at each of these locations using mobile devices.
However, mobile is not the primary method US moms prefer for shopping. Only 11% of respondents said this was the shopping method they would choose, if given only one option. And according to December 2012 research from parenting app company Alt12, about two-thirds of moms said they did less than half of their shopping on mobile.
But as mobile browsing becomes more common, and retailers improve their multichannel efforts, there is no question that more moms will favor smartphones and tablets for their shopping and buying.
Source: eMarketer, MAY 15, 2013
Mobile web and apps get most investment
Spending on mobile marketing keeps rising, as brands learn the power of reaching consumers on these devices, and consumers become increasingly mobile-first.
The Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), in partnership with IHS Global Insight, studied US mobile marketing expenditures and their impact on sales for the “Mobile Marketing Impact Study,” released in May. The study found that this year spending on mobile marketing—including mobile advertising, mobile customer-relationship management and mobile direct-response marketing on nonmobile media—will reach $10.46 billion. By 2015, spending on the channel will approach $20 billion.
That spending will translate to an economywide impact of $216.9 billion in sales in 2013, according to the MMA’s projections, rising to $401 billion in sales in 2015, a ratio of about $1 in mobile spending to $20 in sales, also known as the marketing impact ratio (MIR). The study noted the seeming lack of diminishing returns for mobile investment. As companies spent more money on mobile marketing, their MIR did not decrease.
Mobile advertising accounts for the biggest share of total mobile marketing spending, at just under 50% of expenditures this year, or $4.87 billion—a share that will hold relatively steady through 2015. eMarketer estimates higher US mobile ad spending, projected to reach $7.3 billion this year.
There is no question that as mobile and tablet advertising help companies achieve their brand goals, and thereby drive sales, it is spurring bigger outlays. InsightExpress found that in 2013, mobile and tablet advertising got strong results across brand health metrics, raising ad awareness, purchase intent and brand favorability. Tablets performed particularly well.
Breaking down how companies are apportioning their mobile advertising dollars, the mobile web will see the greatest share of money spent, as brands work to mobile-optimize their sites. In 2013, the MMA predicts companies will invest $3.16 billion in the mobile web, translating to about two-thirds of spending. By 2015, that share will drop down to 58%, as mobile apps get significantly more investment.
Dollars spent on mobile apps will rise by 158% between 2013 and 2015, according to the MMA, to reach $3.26 billion in spending in 2015.
Smartphone and tablets owners are extremely reliant on their devices when researching local products and services, per new data [download page] from xAd and Telmetrics. The second annual US Mobile Path-to-Purchase Study reveals that 46% use their device exclusively as their primary or default tool aiding their local purchase decisions, with the remainder leveraging other media sources such as the PC. Additionally, half use their device at the beginning of the research process, and one-third use their device throughout the purchase process.
The study examined the use of mobile devices in the banking/finance, gas/convenience, insurance and retail categories, finding that across those categories, 60% of smartphone users and 53% of tablet users reported having completed purchases related to their mobile activity. Research activity often led to offline purchases: 53% of respondents overall said they eventually made their purchase offline or in-store, with that figure rising to 74% among smartphone users.
- Close to 1 in 3 smartphone owners, and 1 in 4 tablet owners, use their devices specifically to find contact information, such as a phone number, address, or driving directions.
- Local relevance is important, with 60% expecting businesses to be within walking or local driving distance from their location.
- Immediacy differed by category: within the gas and convenience and banking and finance categories, 50% intend to purchase immediately or within a day, while one-third of retail and insurance users intend to purchase within a month or longer.
- 57% of smartphone searchers go directly to the branded application or website, although tablet searchers have more varied discovery methods by category.
- Close to 60% of mobile users (and nearly 80% of tablet users) use their device at home.
About the Data: Results from the 2nd Annual U.S. Mobile Path-to-Purchase Study are based on data from an online survey of 2,000 U.S. smartphone and tablet users and actual observed consumer behaviors from Nielsen’s Smartphone Analytics Panel of 6,000 Apple and Android users.
Source: eMarketer, APR 25, 2013
Email gets more mobile time
The bite mobile is taking out of desktop internet use keeps getting bigger. The Media Behavior Institute monitored US study participants and found that the mobile phone and tablet were drawing down the percentage of internet users who turn to the computer in a given week: The percentage on desktop slipped by 5 points between the six-month period ending in July 2012 and the six-month period ending in January 2013.
As desktop’s reach falls, mobile’s reach rises. On average, 43.5% of participants accessed the internet via a mobile phone each week during the period ending in January 2013, an 8-percentage-point increase over the period ending in July 2012. Tablets grew their average weekly reach by 4 percentage points, used by 17% of participants at the end of the study period.
In terms of what activities internet users are engaging in on mobile vs. desktop, in Q1 2013 Experian Marketing Services found that US mobile internet users spent the greatest percentage of their mobile web time using email, a 23% share of time spent vs. only 5% of time spent on desktop. Social networking came in second on mobile, garnering 15% of time spent. Travel also occupied a greater share of time on the mobile internet (9%) compared with the desktop (1%).
On the desktop internet, activity was much more heavily weighted toward social networking, which accounted for 27% of time spent online. Entertainment was the second most popular activity, taking up 15% of time.
Mobile vs. desktop usage patterns will continue to change, especially as tablet penetration rates climb higher. In the US, 67% of mobile internet users surveyed by Decision Fuel and On Device Research in November 2012 said they mostly or only used mobile, as opposed to the desktop, to go online and surf the web. Only one-third stuck with the desktop either half or most of the time.
Senior executives around the world are ratcheting up their use of mobile devices, find Doremus and theFinancial Times in their annual “Decision Dynamics” survey. Tablet adoption in particular has jumped, doubling in a year to 6 in 10 respondents, with use growing across all age groups. Tablet users appear more likely to engage in a variety of activities than smartphone users: for example, shopping is far more prevalent among tablet than smartphone users (65% vs. 24%). Not too surprisingly, though, use of QR codes is higher on smartphones than tablets (22% vs. 8%).
Aside from shopping, watching movies and video is far more common among tablet (54%) than smartphone (15%) users, according to the survey, although the gap is narrower for use of social media (49% and 37%, respectively).
Tablets and smartphones share the same top activities, though. Global execs report that checking the news (83% tablets; 70% smartphones); searching the web (81% tablets; 69% smartphones); and visiting websites (78% tablets; 69% smartphones) are their most common activities on each device.
Separately, the study reveals that global execs have a strong appetite for mobile applications, with 9 in 10 tablet and smartphone owners using them. Among regular tablet users, news (78%) apps rank as the most popular type, followed by weather and books/reading apps (each at 66%). Among regular smartphone users, navigation (70%), news (67%) and weather (66%) rank as most popular.
- North American execs are the heaviest users of mobile applications.
- Execs aged under 45 report their top 5 tablet apps to be: news; communications; social media; books; and games. For those 55 and older, the top 5 are: news: navigation; weather; books; and finance.
About the Data: The survey was conducted online in late 2012 with over 400 senior level executives from a mix of industries and company sizes.
Source: eMarketer, APR 24, 2013
Mobile will take a greater percentage of total ecommerce retail sales
Mobile shopping—particularly on tablet devices—is having an outsize impact on the ecommerce world, contributing to an increasing share of US retail ecommerce sales and exerting more influence on overall retail sales, according to new estimates from eMarketer.
This year, 15% of online retail sales will take place via mobile devices, according to eMarketer, up from 11% in 2012. By 2017, the percentage will rise to 25%.
Overall, eMarketer estimates, US retail mcommerce sales will reach nearly $39 billion in 2013, up 56.5% over 2012 and almost triple the amount spent in 2011. This includes products and services ordered online via any mobile device, whether payment or fulfillment happened on mobile itself or in person. The estimates exclude sales of travel services or event tickets.
Tablets are driving much of this spending growth. The majority of mcommerce sales this year will be made on tablets, compared with the 35% of mcommerce sales expected to be made on smartphone devices. By 2017, tablets’ share of US retail mcommerce sales will rise to 71.5%, vs. 27% for smartphones.
Increased spending comes as smartphones and tablets have become commonplace devices for shopping and buying online. In 2013, 79.4 million US consumers, amounting to 51% of digital buyers, will purchase online using a mobile device. By 2017, 77.1% of digital buyers in the US will use a mobile device to make at least one online purchase.
Tablet users have the greater presence among digital buyers. Having a tablet almost guarantees that the person uses it for ecommerce. By 2017, 78% of US tablet users will make purchases via the device. Furthermore, 69.6% of digital buyers in the US will be tablet buyers, while 49.9% will be smartphone buyers.
Undoubtedly, some mcommerce sales merely replaced purchases that would have otherwise occurred online via PC or laptop. But mobile is an ecommerce sales driver in two ways: It gives consumers reasons to shift spending from stores to the internet, and it stimulates incremental purchases that stem from impulse buying. Smartphones and tablets promote ecommerce by extending the shopping day and untethering consumers from the desktop or the store.
eMarketer forms its estimates of mcommerce sales, as well as its projections for the number of mobile shoppers and buyers, based on the analysis of estimates from other research firms, estimated mobile sales data from lead retailers, and weighing overall consumer shopping trends.
This forecast represents a slight decrease to estimates eMarketer released in January 2013, when mcommerce sales were predicted to total $24.66 billion last year and $38.40 billion in 2013—a result of lower-than-expected year-end reports for 2012. eMarketer’s outlook for mobile commerce remains robust, however, with higher growth rates predicted for later in the forecast period.