Warc Blog

Smartphones up impulse purchases

15 October 2013
CHICAGO: A full 40% of US smartphone owners who use their devices to send in-store texts or to scan quick response product codes for extra information subsequently go on to make purchases they had not planned, a new study has found.

The 2013 Mobile Consumer Report from Vibes, the Chicago-based mobile marketing research company, polled 1,000 smartphone owners and also discovered 89% of respondents wanted personalised messages, Marketing Charts reported.

Overall, 31% said they scanned a QR code or texted via their smartphone to receive extra information or details about special deals and, of these, 40% then purchased an unplanned item.

Another 42% said the extra information made them feel better about a purchase they were planning to make.

"Showrooming", the practice of checking out merchandise in stores but then buying on rival websites at a lower price, is also on the rise.

The study found 37% used the extra information they received via their devices to get a discount at the store while 45% bought the product elsewhere, mostly online.

Furthermore, 44% of respondents said they used their devices for in-store comparison or purchases with 7% saying they did this every time they shop.

In other key findings, almost 90% said they would be more willing to sign-up to mobile messages if they were personalised and took account of preferences, such as shopping categories, but only 35% believed retailers are good at personalising information.

Coupons and other incentives were cited by 79% as being a driver towards subscribing to a brand's mobile messaging, but product updates and exclusive content were mentioned by only 46% and 45% respectively.

Two-thirds said they would unsubscribe from a brand's mobile messaging if there were too many messages or updates while 56% would do the same if the information was irrelevant.

Data sourced from Marketing Charts; additional content by Warc staff

 
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