Today, 90% of Americans between 18 and 64 have a mobile phone, according to Arc Worldwide. Half of those are using their phones to shop. Of this half, 20% are driving the majority of mobile shopping behavior.

Translation: 10% of US adults are the mobile shopping heavies.

How do you compel more consumers to join this base of heavies? Arc looked at segments of shopper activity and suggests 5% of the 40% of casual users may be convinced to be heavy.

This high potential 5% both use their phones a lot and shop a lot. If retailers could just get them to do both together, mobile shopping might grow 50% (so goes the story).

The natural next step for a marketer is to take the path of least resistance and try to encourage the easier of the two behaviors. In other words, get the big spenders to use their phones more in their shopping trips. This might include awareness campaigns, targeted mobile marketing, or messages in-store at the point of purchase.

But a big barrier to changing the behavior of high potential users isn’t informing them of mobile capabilities. It’s getting them to change their habit of using their PC.

And this is what the survey shows. 50% of high potentials find using a PC easier than their phone. Nearly 50% say they spend most of their time near PCs and find mobile phones take too long.

Making lists, comparing prices, and finding deals are simply easier for them to do on their PC. They also likely prefer to do these activities before they shop, not in-store.

Getting these shoppers to convert requires retailers to emphasize the things a PC can’t do, such as in-store deals, or searching on the retailer’s online site when a product is out-of-stock.

If retailers could just…if retailers could only…is not as easy as it sounds. But this is not to say that high potentials can’t be encouraged to graduate. Look to two areas to be leading edge: the most conducive retail segments (apparel stores more than pharmacies) and the most appropriate audience segments (digital natives more than digital immigrants).

Categories: Mobile, Online, Pre-store | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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