Longer purchase process gives device marketers opportunities to target shoppers
As mobile devices have become more sophisticated and smartphones more popular, consumers have been spending more time and using more online resources before purchasing new phones, according to a report from Google and Compete on shopping for wireless devices. A longer purchase funnel means more time for marketers to insert themselves into the process and sway shoppers who are largely interested in new features.
According to earlier research, in 2008 one-quarter of US mobile phone buyers spent more than a week considering their purchase. By 2009 that proportion had risen to 34%. Among smartphone owners, research time is even longer. Nearly a fifth spent four weeks or more researching their purchase, compared with just 7% of mobile owners.
Wireless shoppers are also doing research at more locations online, with usage of OEM sites and retailer sites up.
Whether mobile phone purchasers ended up buying their new device online or in a store, they tended to do the same types of research on the web, with feature and price comparisons topping the list of activities.
The similarity of research behavior between online and offline buyers means marketers targeting mobile phone purchasers on the web can have a broad multichannel effect. They also have an opportunity to convince consumers in the purchase funnel by focusing on sophisticated, hot device features.
While most shoppers knew which wireless carrier they would choose, 78% had not decided on a manufacturer before beginning shopping and were open to switching. Meanwhile, with smartphones steadily taking over the market, consumers are putting the emphasis on their phone’s capabilities. The number of shoppers choosing a phone based on its features was up 20% between May 2008 and January 2010, while the proportion of shoppers choosing a new mobile device based on discounted or free upgrades was down 11%.
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Check out today’s other article, “Who Spends Most Time on Facebook?”