Tom Webster, writing and speaking

Mobility Doesn't Mean Out Of Home

Added on by Tom Webster.

Burning CouchA fascinating study came out this week from Nielsen on mobile commerce and the "mobile shopper's journey." Nielsen surveyed 3,257 adults who own either a tablet or a smartphone, and had engaged in mobile shopping in the last 30 days, to ascertain how mobile affects their shopping behaviors. The money stat is this: 72% of smartphone shoppers (and 95% of tablet shoppers) who make a purchase with their device do so at home. Obviously, this does not preclude out-of-home shopping behavior, but it does raise an interesting rethink of what "mobility" really means vis a vis digital commerce.

Mobile shopping untethers consumers, but if that untethering is from the desk to the couch, that sparks all kinds of interesting questions:

  • Is actual "out-of-home" purchase behavior mainly limited to low-risk purchases?
  • Are consumers reluctant to pay for purchases outside the sanctity of their wi-fi networks?
  • Is there a stronger link between in-home TV viewing and "mobile" commerce than heretofore surmised?
  • And, if shoppers are more comfortable loosening their mobile pursestrings in the comfort of their own home, might there be a greater opportunity for mobile shopping for high-risk purchases if we stop thinking about mobile buys as "in-the-moment," location-based decisions?

Of course, lots of marketers already know the answers to some of these questions--which is why we are seeing more and more Shazam-encoded TV advertising. But what these and other data point to is this: if you are thinking about your mobile strategy as a purely location-based strategy, you might be doing it wrong.