New Market: Mobile Only Shoppers

Studies show that retailers must look to reaching a new, emerging audience – the mobile-only shoppers.

A recent study in the US carried out by mobile ad network Millennial Media and comScore, has shown that a small percentage of mobile consumers prefer to shop via mobile rather than in other ways.  The study, based on a survey of 10,000 connected mobile users, also revealed that:

  • The US mobile internet audience in August grew to 80 million.
  • 8 percent of wireless subscribers are mobile retail users.
  • 27 percent of the mobile retail users said they had purchased or browsed retail items only through their handsets in the last 30 days, as opposed to looking through online or going into brick-and-mortar stores.
  • The remaining 73 percent of mobile retailer users had shopped across mobile, online and offline channels.
  • Mobile retail shoppers tend to be more well off, with nearly 34 percent making more than $100,000 annually compared to about 27 percent of all mobile subscribers.

As a result, Millennial Media is encouraging marketers to boost their holiday ad spending on mobile to reach these mobile-only shoppers, stating in a recent blog post, “For advertisers, this means there is a new retail audience that can only be reached through mobile.”

The most popular categories shopped by mobile retail users were:

  • electronics and clothing, with about 30% of people buying goods in each category,
  • food (26%),
  • entertainment and airline tickets (21% each),
  • hotel stays and flowers (19% each),
  • automotive and tools (17%),
  • sports/fitness (15%), and
  • car rentals (14%).

Millennial Media’s monthly ad report focussing on mobile advertising trends showed that 57 percent of mobile campaigns were aimed at reaching a broad audience, while 43 percent were based on targeting factors such as demographic, geographic and behavioural.

The report also demonstrated that nearly 80 percent of campaigns drove visitors to a mobile site (either a marketer’s own site or a custom landing page), while 22 percent utilised some form of expandable rich media. Millennial Media credited the materialisation of the latter category to new advertisers, implementing elements of rich media to promote mobile applications and video content.

As previous studies undertaken by Forrester Research have clearly shown that online consumer behaviour in Australian  is not so different to that in the US, Australian e-commerce retailers should take note of Millennial Media’s monthly studies, and think about ways in which to reach the small, yet steadily increasing, market of mobile-only shoppers.

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