CHICAGO, Nov. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- This year, consider showrooming part of holiday past. With most major retailers offering price matching guarantees this holiday season, Vibes revealed insights for retailers into the profile of today's "connected shopper" – consumers using their mobile phone to make informed buying decisions. The profile is a bit unexpected: more than half are male, one third is above the age of 45 and they cut across income levels. Based on the in-store mobile activity amongst this group, Vibes proves that retailers and brands need to focus on effective and relevant in-store mobile engagement tactics, and not fear the act of "showrooming."
Based on Vibes' first annual Mobile Consumer Report of more than 1,000 mobile users, Vibes has identified the key demographics, in-store activities and mobile habits of the mobile connected shopper, which represents more than 60 percent of smartphone users. Considering that the mobile connected shopper is just as likely to look up a product review or scan a QR code as comparison shop, Vibes' research de-bunks the showrooming hype, and provides retailers and brands with a unique opportunity to understand the mobile habits of their customers and engage them using their preferred methods.
"Showrooming is essentially dead this holiday season," said Jack Philbin, co-founder, CEO and president of Vibes. "The numbers don't lie – comparison shopping is only one of the many activities the connected shoppers do in store. Our research shows that the majority of in-store activities – scanning QR codes, looking up product reviews and using a retailer's app – are all about building confidence in a shopper's purchase decision. For retailers this holiday season, it's about understanding consumers' habits so engagement can be relevant, timely and personalized – and extend beyond just in-store experience."
The Profile of the Mobile Connected Shopper (Key Findings)
- For one third of connected shoppers, gone are the days of alarm clocks and saying good morning to a significant other – their mobile phone is the first thing they communicate with in the morning.
- Income levels do not determine level of mobile "dependency." One third earns less than $50k, one third makes $50k-$100k and another third makes more than $100k.
- Age does matter. One third of connected shoppers are above the age of 45, refuting the assumption that people who conduct in-store activity are twenty-something and tech-savvy.
- Nearly 70 percent do not have children in the household, proving that the connected shopper – more often than not – is not shopping for children's products.
- While 54 percent of connected shoppers have compared prices in store, 51 percent have looked up a product review, showing there is not much of a gap between comparison shopping and gathering more information about a purchase – leaving a huge opportunity for retailers.
- Connected shoppers use their mobile phones while shopping in store – a lot. Of the additional in-store activities the connected shopper conducts, 45 percent have scanned a QR or barcode for more information, 33 percent have researched a product on the store's website and 28 percent have used a company's app in the store.
- Connected shoppers are savvy shoppers. Seventy-six percent of connected shoppers use coupons at least half of the time while shopping; more than half have used mobile coupons, proving that relevant and timely offers continue to play an important role in consumer purchasing habits.
"This year, retailers can expect consumers to do more research than ever before to make sure they get what they need, when they need it, at the price they want – with many using their mobile phones to do so. Therefore, it's important for retailers to understand how and when consumers are using their phones in order to personalize each valuable interaction. And they need to connect with them beyond price," said Philbin.
The Vibes Mobile Consumer Report was fielded by independent panel research firm Research Now and responses were generated from a survey among 1,006 mobile phone owners from their online opinion panel. All respondents are age 18 or older and living in the continental United States. The margin of error for the survey is +/-3.1%.
Founded in 1998, Vibes is a mobile marketing and technology leader that helps some of the world's biggest brands acquire, engage and deepen relationships throughout the customer lifecycle. Vibes' Catapult platform enables brands, agencies and media companies to launch a wide range of mobile solutions from SMS, to MMS, QR Codes, on-screen, alerts, mobile Web, mobile incentives and integration with social platforms. Using Vibes' Mobile Relationship Management (MRM) approach, companies forge immediate and long-lasting customer relationships by tapping into the uniquely personal nature of the mobile phone. The Company has delivered billions of mobile experiences on behalf of customers that include Verizon, Allstate, The Gap, Tribune, Fox, Crispin Porter + Bogusky, Gannett and the Chicago Bulls. Vibes is one of only nine Tier 1 aggregators with secure, direct connections to all the major carriers. To learn more about Vibes, visit www.vibes.com or connect on Facebook.com/VibesMedia or Twitter.com/Vibes_Media.
Kristin Parran Faulder
InkHouse (for Vibes)