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Saving Time, Money are Key Drivers of Mobile Adoption: Study


What shoppers really want in a mobile commerce experience is very simple: to save time and money without any extra hassle, according to a new study conducted by St. Petersburg, Fla.-based Catalina, in partnership with research firm Insights Now. 

The study, “Getting Smart About Today’s Mobile Savvy Shopper,” is based on a nationwide survey that identified 1,000 smartphone owners who are the primary grocery shoppers within their households. 

While early iterations of in-store mobile shopping apps had the potential to revolutionize retail, the next wave of shopper-first technology will accelerate adoption by providing content that is highly relevant to the shopper.

“In the past, mobile commerce simply took analog and digital content and put it on a smartphone. This approach didn’t work, as shoppers wanted an experience that leveraged the power of mobile,” said Todd Morris, EVP of corporate development and marketing, Catalina. “Now that we’re moving to ‘Mobile 2.0,’ CPG retailers need to deliver an application that can translate a shopper’s preferences into relevant content that will enhance their experience by saving them time and money on items they actually want  To achieve this, retailers and brands must combine feature-rich shopping applications with an understanding of shopper preferences, purchase history and more.”

Study data shows that two-thirds of primary household shoppers who own smartphones have already used their mobile devices on a shopping trip. They want an integrated application that makes them smarter, more efficient shoppers, and they decidedly do not want anything that complicates or extends the shopping trip.

Digital Coupons are Key

Digital coupons are core to this. More than half of respondents used 16 or more coupons in the previous six months, and 62 percent are extremely or very likely to use digital coupons in the future. (This is consistent with the findings of Progressive Grocer’s 81st Annual Report on the Grocery Industry, which found that more than 52 percent of grocers identify e-coupons as the most important use of mobile technology – a number that rises to 67 percent among large chains).

However, respondents insist, mobile shopping apps shouldn’t distract shoppers from their task. The number one reason mobile shoppers say they wouldn’t want a specific feature in their shopping app is because “it seems time consuming.”

Notable Survey Results

Savings and efficiency are the big motivators for using mobile shopping apps. According to mobile shoppers, today’s most desired features are: 

  • Digital coupons
  • Real-time coupons
  • Shopping list reminders
  • Ability to track spending 

Despite the influence social sharing has on shopping decisions, respondents indicated that the least desired features overall are:

  • Social media integration
  • Receipt imagery
  • Generic geo-location notifications


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