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Report: Shoppers Using Technology More Than Ever

More and more consumers are using their smartphones and tablets to interact with retailers. 

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Flickr User Rachel Johnson

A report released today at Shop.org’s Annual Summit found that in June 2013, more than half, or 55 percent, of all retail related internet time originated on smartphones and tablets combined.  That compares to just 45 percent originating from desktop devices.  In fact, smartphone internet usage in June 2013 totaled 44 percent of retail internet minutes, up from 17 percent in June 2010.  Tablet internet usage accounted for 11 percent of total minutes on retail sites.

During the second quarter of fiscal year 2013, m-commerce dollars totaled $4.7 billion or 8.6 percent of total U.S. e-commerce dollars that quarter.  Between the second quarter of 2012 and the second quarter of 2013, m-commerce grew 24 percent, compared to 16 percent growth in e-commerce as a whole.

“Since U.S consumers now spend more than half of their time on retailers’ websites using their smartphones and tablets, mobile can’t be viewed simply as an ancillary device or action.  It now epitomizes how consumers think and act when they interact with retailers,” said Vicki Cantrell, Shop.org executive director.  “Retailers have to continue to invest to make sure they get their mobile offerings right, or will increasingly risk alienating customers and leaving significant money on the table.”

According to the report, online consumers use their smartphone and tablet devices for many shopping-related activities, including visiting a company’s site or app while in the store, mostly to view price differences.

“Retailers have an immediate opportunity to proactively encourage shoppers to use in-store Wi-Fi and engage with the retailer’s mobile-enabled websites and apps,” said Peter Leech, Managing Director of The Partnering Group.  “It’s a big opportunity to capture those eyeballs before they seek an alternate source of product detail and pricing information on another retailer’s mobile offering.”

Additional highlights of the report:

  • One-third (35%) of smartphone owners in Q2 2013 used their device to locate a store, one-quarter (24%) used it to find coupons and deals, and 19 percent used it to look up product availability.
  • Among consumers who made a purchase online in Q2 2013, 69 percent of those purchases came from desktop devices, compared to 34 percent from tablets and 21 percent from smartphones.
  • The average spend in Q2 2013 was higher on smartphones compared to tablets: shoppers spent an average of $97 on smartphones, compared to $76 on tablets.
  • Nearly two-thirds of smartphone owners in Q2 2013 used a browser to research product features (64%), and more than half used a browser to find a store location (59%) and to find coupons/deals (53%). Seven in 10 (72%) smartphone owners report using only apps to make shopping lists, as well as 46 percent who do so to view daily deals.
  • Apparel and accessories (37%) and event tickets (25%) were among the top products that smartphone shoppers bought with their device during Q2 2013.

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