The habit of using cell phones while shopping — calling a friend, checking product reviews and comparing prices — is on the rise. Mobile usage has become an integral part of shopping in stores (the brick and mortar ones), according to Pew Research conducted in the month leading up to and in the month following Christmas.
More than 50 percent of Americans used their cell phones for one of those three activities: calling a friend, checking reviews or comparing prices. Unsurprisingly, the habit was more prevalent in Americans under the age of 50. Only 4 percent of Americans 65 and older were likely to use their cell phone while shopping.
This news raises interesting implications for mobile qualitative research. The ability to be engaged with shoppers in a manner that is truly natural and authentic to the way they shop, while they are shopping, is surely of massive interest to marketers.
What shoppers are doing after they read reviews or checking prices online is fascinating. In the study, about one-third (35 percent) bought from the store. Another third (37 percent) decided not to buy. The study revealed that 27 percent either bought online or at another store.
Mobile qualitative research will not be about reaching people while they are watching TV on the couch, clearly. It is increasingly used by researchers to analyze experiences, from seeing concerts to analyzing retail options.
Do you have stories about using mobile qualitative for dynamic experiences? Or do you have a client that you need to help with that type of research? In either case, we’d love to hear from you.