Why Mobile Shopping Is Taking Over

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Mobile devices have practically taken over our lives. We use them to check our emails, text friends and post on social media. But a new trend has been gaining ground with mobile devices. Currently about two-thirds of U.S. consumers are using their devices to shop as well.

The increasing use of smartphones for shopping has had a drastic impact on the consumer’s path to purchase, according to a recent report from the Consumer Technology Association (CTA). The group’s most recent report found that online and mobile research leading to a brick-and-mortar in-store purchase remains the primary way consumers make decisions.

Most online U.S. consumers (60%) now use mobile technology for shopping, and two-thirds (67%) have searched online for additional product information. The report also uncovered an overwhelming nine in 10 mobile device owners have at least one subscription to access coupons, promotions and special discounts.

Owned in 74% of U.S. households, smartphones remain a dominant consumer product. According to other CTA research, the number of smartphones will grow 3% to reach 185 million sold this year in the United States, with revenues expected to reach $55.6 billion.

Mobile connectivity currently is one of the driving trends. The report identified a few other key trends as well:

  • Websites preferred over mobile apps.
  • Connectivity provides optimal shopping experiences.
  • Brick-and-mortar remains king.
  • Consumers seek simplified checkout experiences online.
  • Holiday mobile sales continue to grow.

Steve Koenig, senior director of market research at CTA, concluded:

Every step of the consumer’s path to purchase has dramatically changed with the use of smartphones, from triggering interest in considering technology products to purchase and sometimes post purchase behavior that includes posting online reviews. The retail market continues to change with the innovations associated with smartphone technologies – such as location-based services and apps – creating new opportunities for both brick-and-mortar and online retailers to meet the changing needs of consumers.