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There’s no doubting the popularity of digital shopping among UK consumers—more internet users shop online in the UK than in most all other countries according to eMarketer. The influence of smartphones, in particular, has become increasingly marked over the years, but how the devices are used in the path to purchase has changed.
According to a November 2015 report from xAd and Nielsen, smartphone shoppers have moved their shopping research behaviors from outside the home to within the four walls. According to the study, in 2013, 57% of UK smartphone shoppers researched products via their device while out of home. By 2015, that figure had shrunk to just 36%.
The research also highlighted the wider importance of smartphones in the consumer shopping journey. Over a third—37%—of UK smartphone shoppers polled in March 2015 said they researched grocery products exclusively on their smartphone. Only slightly less—33%—said they researched retail products in the same way.
As smartphones have become integral to consumers’ daily usage habits, they have begun to penetrate their shopping behaviors. No longer are smartphones merely “on the go” devices, they are now “always on” devices via which consumers can constantly be reached.
For retailers, that reach can often translate into transactions. Not only are more and more people using smartphones to research products, but they’re also using said devices to buy products, too. According to October 2015 research from Criteo, in the device mix, smartphones are used only slightly less than both tablets and desktop PCs for completing ecommerce transactions.
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