The rise of smart phones has had a significant impact on how people now shop, with online and offline research and shopping becoming inter-changeable. Consumers will often have already made up their mind thanks to online reviews and research before ever touching the product.

In the car industry for example, good salespeople know they can sell the car if they can get the potential customer to take a test drive – it’s a traditional part of their sales process. However much more frequently the decision on which car to buy is made all through online research into price, safety, comfort etc – reading reviews, forum articles and comparison websites. People know how the car should drive before they ever step foot into the showroom.Mobile Website full


So how should this change how we market?
We need to place more emphasis on using our online properties to market to potential customers regardless of what stage buyer behaviour they are at. Websites need to not always have a hard sell, assume that a number of people are coming to your website as part of their initial research, or as part of their evaluation and product comparison. Make sure you have suitable information relevant to them at this stage of their information gathering – not just prices and shipping times for those wanting to purchase.
Uptake of Smart Phones and online consumer buyer behaviour.

Whether this is through using multiple devices before making a purchase or using the smart phone on its own, mobile commerce is a growing world, and businesses need to capable of catering to this change.
Researching products is a very common practice for smart phone users, and they'll perform this research in a number of settings, including:

  • At home - 62%
  • On the go - 34%
  • At work - 25%
  • In a shop - 20%
  • On public transport - 19%
  • 24% of smart phone users utilise their device to compare prices and learn about specific products
  • 22% have changed their minds about an in-store purchase based on information they've gathered on their smart phone
  • 19% have changed their minds about an online purchase based on information they've gathered on their smart phone
  • 33% of product research performed on a smart phone leads to a purchase being made on a computer; 29% leads to offline purchases (e.g. in-store)
  • 28% of smart phones users make purchases directly on their device; of these users, 59% make a purchase at least once a month
  • 28% of smart phone users expect to make more purchases directly on their devices in the future

 

Statistics courtesy of 2012 Google's Australian "Our Mobile Planet" survey.