Nearly half of all smartphone-owning parents use their devices to find coupons and other discounts when shopping for school supplies. Meanwhile, more than 20 percent are making back-to-school purchases through their mobile devices, according to the Placed, Inc. mobile commerce report, “Back-to-School Shopping: 2013 Trends.”
The survey solicited feedback from 12,000 smartphone owners with at least one child. In addition to increased mobile purchasing activity, the survey highlighted the continued value of mobile showrooming: Approximately two in five parents used smartphones for “showrooming” purchases. Showrooming is the act of browsing products at physical stores while using mobile devices to conduct online research such as price comparisons.
Despite this strong showrooming activity, retailers shouldn’t worry about losing business to their competition en masse. Some 35 percent of parents accessed retailer apps or mobile websites with their smartphones, suggesting brand loyalty continues to extend to showrooming.
Meanwhile, some retail stores appear to be better than others at attracting smartphone-savvy parents. When it comes to shopping at the mobile-friendly Macy’s, for example, parents with smartphones were more than 20 percent more likely than the average customer to visit a physical store.
Getting Found Through Mobile Development
The survey also discovered that some companies — including Sam’s Club, Kmart and Costco — were actually less likely to attract the mobile commerce of parents. This finding suggests that the development of mobile properties can enhance the business-consumer relationship where adoption of mobile devices is concerned.
In addition to showrooming, the report identified a number of shopping-related activities that are heavily utilized by parents. For example, 32 percent of those surveyed used their smartphones to find a store location. More than 30 percent made a shopping list on their phone, and one-fourth of respondents obtained product information through their devices.
With one-fifth of all parents ultimately making purchases through smartphones, the back-to-school path-to-purchase is increasingly leading to the mobile realm.
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