How Consumers Are Using Mobile This Holiday Season
With the holiday season upon us, GPShopper, a mobile app platform for retailers, set out to analyze how today’s U.S. shoppers are using mobile. GPShopper teamed with comScore, a digital measurement firm, to survey over 1,100 adults that shop on their smartphones. Not surprising, mobile is taking over the holiday season, with 83 percent responding they will use apps to help them shop. What did surprise us was how frequently apps are being used and how many apps users are accessing monthly to aid their shopping. Additionally, we discovered key insights on must-have features that get shoppers to not only download a retailer’s mobile application, but keep it on their phones.
Yes, They Download Apps for That
Consumers use apps to shop — nearly 87 percent use mobile shopping apps — with about 40 percent accessing three apps or more a month. These aren't one-time-downloaded, next-minute-deleted apps either. They stay on the consumer’s device. Two-thirds of mobile shoppers keep their favorite retailer’s app on their phones for six months or longer. Unlike games and gimmicky utilities, useful shopping apps have staying power with your most loyal customers.
The misconception that consumers delete apps after downloading has been shattered. Not only do they keep apps on their phones, but access them consistently. Over 79 percent of shoppers are using retail apps at least monthly. Fifty-four percent of users were even accessing the shopping apps weekly, showing that it was a critical component to their overall browsing behavior and retailer engagement.
App Users Make Retail Seasons Bright
Consumers that shop via mobile apps actually spend more money and frequent your store more often than non-mobile shoppers. In fact, 47 percent of mobile sales occur from apps, and app shoppers convert three times more than mobile browsers. These app users become more valuable both in and out of stores. When using a retailer’s mobile app, 40 percent of consumers purchase more of a brand’s product and 46 percent visit the physical store more often, according to ABI Research.
App Features to Keep Retailers on the ‘Nice’ List
Our survey revealed that outside of the holiday season consumers are more likely to download an app if the app delivers loyalty features and relevant offers. Additionally, they prefer the convenience and speed of apps over mobile responsive websites and the ease of payment in and out of store. But when it comes to the holidays, it’s not just deals shoppers are seeking from their favorite retailers’ apps. Here's how shoppers are using them:
- research products (54 percent);
- compare prices in-store (46 percent);
- communicate with friends and family about gifts (39 percent);
- seek additional product information in-store (31 percent);
- locate/navigate to stores (28 percent);
- check product inventory (24 percent);
- purchase products in apps (22 percent); and
- purchase products on sites (21 percent).
In addition, when asked about most useful features this holiday, over 46 percent of respondents said they will use apps to check ratings and reviews, and 37 percent said that accessing a retailer's loyalty program is a must have for the shopping season.
Mobile is no longer a holiday novelty, but a must have for retailers to engage with loyal and eager shoppers during this critical time of year. Shoppers are demanding that retailer apps be useful and connect them with features such as loyalty programs and product availability that make their in-store and online shopping a breeze.
Elizabeth Hoffman is the marketing director of GPShopper, an integrated mobile commerce platform.