Mobile shopping trends

February 28, 2015 Rhys Kenworthy
mobile shopping

We know that the mobile age is here and each day more retail sites can be easily viewed from a mobile browser or app. What are the habits of people who shop using their mobile device? A recent Mashable article gives the following seven surprising mobile trends:

  1. Mobile shopping doesn’t equal mobile purchasing.
  2. Men are more likely to consult their phone.
  3. Mobile devices often trump computers.
  4. Mobile phones hardly impact shopping habits.
  5. The mobile experience is good.
  6. But it still needs some work.
  7. Touchscreens are preferred.

Mobile shopping doesn’t equal mobile purchasing and men being more likely to consult their phones can go together. Shopping at a brick and mortar store is convenient and you can take the product home that day. If you are able wait for that product to ship and buy it $10 cheaper online, wouldn’t you? Men are apparently more likely to comparison shop in the stores and there are apps such as Google Shopper or Barcode Scanner that make this easy. You just scan the UPC of the item you want to comparison shop and you can pull up local and online results for other stores who offer the same product and their prices.

Mobile devices often trump computers. Employers frown upon their employees spending vast amounts of “on-the-clock” time comparison shopping for personal items. Although the rate of shopping through the typical workday is high, many would rather shop on their mobile device so that they are not connected to their employer’s network.

Mobile phones hardly impact shopping habits. Have your shopping habits changed since you began mobile shopping? Probably not. We still look for the same items as we did from a desktop; this is just a new way to search.

The mobile experience is good, but still needs some work. This is obvious to us when we land on a page that is not meant to be viewed by a mobile device. Flash sites are not able to be viewed on Apple devices, so while the effect is neat, a company can lose a huge part of their demographic by not having a mobile-ready website. Businesses are creating apps, losing the Flash, and creating feature-rich content to be view by mobile users, but this is a process and we need to be patient.

Touchscreens are preferred. As an early adopter of tablets, we can honestly say that the larger screen on a tablet (10.1”) can make a shopping experience much easier. As for smartphones, the Galaxy Note, a new phablet, has a screen size of 5.3” and comes with a stylus which makes navigation a piece of cake.

The bottom line is that while we now have another way to shop, we still shop for the same items and businesses are still adapting to the mobile trend, so sometimes it’s not as easy as we’d like it to be. Ten years ago, I would have given anything to be able to comparison shop for the two most expensive things on my shopping list at the time: diapers and formula. Having the mobile technology at our fingertips with a few frustrations is better than not having it at all.

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