‘Tis the season for surveys showing mobile’s momentum

Ask 728 people whether shopping on a smartphone or tablet is more attractive than visiting a retail location and more than half will say that it is, according to the 2013 Mobile Commerce Study produced by Hipcricket, a Kirkland, Wa.-based provider of unified mobile engagement platforms.

The question is rather leading and the survey sponsor has some obvious bias, but those factor aside the momentum of mobile going into the holiday season is undeniable as smartphone and tablet penetration rates and usage continue to expand. For example, the survey of 728 people, of which  96.1% own a smartphone and 53.9% own a tablet, showed that 42% will shop more on their mobile devices this year than last year and during the past six months 58% made a purchase on their smart phone and 56% made a purchase on their table.

As for the reason why shopping on a smartphone or tablet is preferable to a retail store, the most often mentioned reason (84.7%) was that, “I can do it on my own time,” followed by saving time and avoiding crowds, mentioned by 77.9% of respondents. None of those responses are good news for retailers looking to drive traffic to stores in the month’s ahead.

The ability to research products and read reviews were the two top uses for smartphones and tablets, mentioned by 83.5% and 75.6% of respondents, respectively. Using those devices to complete a purchase was mentioned by only 63.6% of respondents while only half said they compared prices.
As for what people buy, books and music and video dominated, mentioned by 54.2% and 47% of respondent, respectively, but clothing and footwear weren’t far behind at 42%.

Also of note is where people said they use their smartphones and tablets. Although the devices are regarded as “mobile,” about two thirds of the shopping activity takes place in the home.