The influence of smartphones on the purchase decision process

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There are already enough studies and evidence on the relevance of smartphones for our daily life. Some of them, such as the “Mobile Scourge” from Marketagent.com , also make us smile with amusing facts. Or did you know that 3/4 of the Austrians could do without physical proximity for a week, but only 1/4 on their cell phones?

This relevance and constant availability of the Internet naturally has an impact on information and buying behavior, even if some retailers still prefer not to admit it. A study by ebay.de/innofact.de, however, shows impressively that not only up to 3/4 of the buyers also use mobile information before buying . It also shows that half of these customers still do this in business .

What shoppers expect on their mobile

The question is rather how you can use these facts for a positive customer experience and a purchase … and not whether and how you can prevent the (price / product) comparison with online platforms. Not convinced yet? A very detailed and worth reading white paper by the e-tailing Group on using the smartphone in the purchase preparation and decision-making process shows the potential. There are also many good best practice examples for successful and customer-oriented implementations of mobile websites and apps from retail companies in the USA.

On the occasion, the strong trend of receiving and carrying customer cards and regular customer offers on the smartphone should also be mentioned. In contrast to post-mailings and plastic customer cards, the smartphone never stays at home. According to your own strategy, offers by email, SMS or even your own app can be more effective and cost-effective than some conventional direct marketing methods.

The own app, albeit a lot more complex to create and maintain, naturally offers the greatest scope for your own branding, attention-grabbing offers and information tailored to individual customer needs. With Apple’s iBeacon technology, there is even the possibility to identify the customer directly in front of / in the store via his smartphone and to address them with the appropriate information and offers.

Of course, apps now face a similar hurdle as customer cards. Customers use just as few unlimited apps as they have never carried dozens of customer cards with them. In fact, according to a Google study,  just 9% of users load 50 or more apps on their smartphones. Not to mention regular use.

What users expect on a mobile site

Nevertheless, retail companies are certainly well advised to use their own mobile websites or apps. What the customers expect to find relevant information is very pleasantly listed in the aforementioned e-tailing study. Maybe worth a check with your own mobile website?

  • Business search
  • Product Information
  • Availability display / search
  • search
  • Reviews and ratings
  • Regular customer offers – also location-based!

Even if the study relates to the USA, the wrong impression should not arise that there is still enough time in this country to deal with these “future issues”. Mobile use is no less pronounced in Austria and Germany. And the competition is already taking this into account. According to the IBM OmniChannel Maturity Index 2013 , at least the larger German retailers are by no means inactive.

“In general, retail also takes the trend towards mobile business into account: 56 percent (previous year 41 percent) of the companies examined have a mobile app, 63 percent (previous year 47 percent) offer a mobile website. Mobile orders are possible
with 32 (app) or 54 percent (mobile website). “

By the way, providers such as mobile-pocket.com , in whose apps customers can save their customer cards, offer a cost-effective and effective way to get started with mobile marketing in the regular customer program . And vice versa, participating retailers can target these customers in a targeted and comparatively inexpensive way through their regular customer campaigns.