Mobile 2014: Mapping The Customer Journey - Dan Hodges

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Cover image for  article: Mobile 2014: Mapping The Customer Journey - Dan Hodges

There has been much written about the embracing of smartphones and its impact on the customer shopping journey. Are consumers really using smartphones as much as it is claimed or is this just more industry hype? If shoppers are using their smartphones for shopping, what are they doing? How many shoppers are using their smartphones and what is the impact on your business?

The answers to these questions can be found by looking at key shopping demographics and behaviors over the past year. The period of May 2014 was compared to May 2013 using comScore to draw some comparisons. Here is what we found.

The 18-44 demographic is at center of mobile shopping.

The research shows that people in the 18-44 demo are using smartphones to check product availability, compare prices, locate stores, make shopping lists, research products and purchase goods and services.

  13-24 25-34 [Age] 35-44 [Age] 45-54 [Age] 55+
Index to the US Population Index Index Index Index Index
Checked Product Availability [Retail Application Access] 140 173 121 72 34
Compared Product Prices [Retail Application Access] 125 169 123 84 38
Found Store Location [Retail Application Access] 141 158 110 80 44
Made Shopping Lists [Retail Application Access] 127 151 116 89 49
Researched Product Features [Retail Application Access] 135 160 128 77 38
Purchased Goods/Services [Retail Application Access] 139 167 123 74 36
Source: comScore May 2014          
           

The research highlights that smartphone shoppers ages 18-44 are using their smartphone daily and weekly for shopping. They are using it for higher value purchases such as watches and jewelry, which is a significant price point shift. It is important to note that once an activity becomes a habit, it becomes an important fact of life on the customer journey.

Index to the US Population 13-24 25-34 [Age] 35-44 [Age] 45-54 [Age] 55+
  Index Index Index Index Index
Almost every day [Researched Product Features] 127 225 133 50 18
At least once a week [Researched Product Features] 136 174 114 82 34
At least once a week [Purchased Goods/Services] 131 168 124 76 40
Jewelry & watches [Types of Goods/Services Purchased] 158 178 117 67 25
Source: comScore May 2014          
           

Men are the most active mobile shoppers.

The research points out that men are more active than women in checking product availability, comparing prices, finding stores, researching products and purchasing on their smartphones. Women use their smartphones for making shopping lists.

Index to the US Population MALE   Index FEMALE   Index
Total Audience: 13+ yrs old [Age] 100 100
Checked Product Availability [Retail Application Access] 117 84
Compared Product Prices [Retail Application Access] 117 84
Found Store Location [Retail Application Access] 108 92
Made Shopping Lists [Retail Application Access] 84 115
Researched Product Features [Retail Application Access] 116 85
Purchased Goods/Services [Retail Application Access] 113 88
Source: comScore May 2014    
     

A major increase in the number mobile shoppers

The number of consumers using their smartphones for shopping and the shopping process has increased an astonishing thirty percent over the last year. The key areas in the shopping process were identified in the analysis below:

  May-13 May-14 INDEX - May 2014 vs. May 2013 INCREASE PEOPLE       MAY 2014 vs. MAY 2103
  People People    
Checked Product Availability [Retail Browser Access] 23,110 27,986 1.21 4,876
Compared Product Prices [Retail Browser Access] 26,771 34,018 1.27 7,247
Found Store Location [Retail Browser Access] 36,492 42,959 1.18 6,467
Made Shopping Lists [Retail Browser Access] 10,582 15,001 1.42 4,419
Researched Product Features [Retail Browser Access] 25,980 33,763 1.3 7,783
Purchased Goods/Services [Retail Browser Access] 22,151 28,718 1.3 6,568
Source: comScore 2014 & 2013        
         

What should you do?

The above research demonstrates that mobile influence in the customer journey is increasing at a rapid rate of change. In fact, for a great many shoppers, smartphones are already an essential tool in the customer journey.

Walmart reported that over the Thanksgiving holiday, fifty-three percent of Walmart's website (out of a whopping 400 million page views) were accessed via mobile. Walmart also notes that new customers making purchases for the first time on mobile is up three times from the previous year.

How should your company approach this rapidly changing customer journey? Walt Disney offer this advice "We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths."

Dan Hodges is CEO and Founder, Consumers in Motion LLC. He can be reached at Dan Hodgesdan@consumersinmotion.com

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