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A consumer’s journey, which was predictable and straightforward until a few years ago, has now become sketchy and complex. Driven by technology, the retail industry is undergoing a paradigm shift.

The traditional, linear path-to-purchase is being replaced by the checkered path of the modern consumer whose purchase journey is across a multitude of channels from desktops and laptops to smartphones, tablets, connected televisions, and wearable devices. The biggest challenge faced by an advertiser is to understand a customer’s journey across these devices and deliver personalized content that is relevant, optimized and seamless across all the mediums. Similarly, increased use of mobile devices has created a multitude of opportunities for customer interactions with a brand. As a result, marketers need to keep pace with their audiences, create unified multi-channel strategies and understand how to leverage the smartphone to engage customers across highly contextual moments throughout the day.

So, what does this new route-to-purchase mean for marketers and what opportunities does it present? There is a clear demand to ensure consumers have access to information, interact and shop anytime and anywhere, build customer satisfaction, nurture loyalty and drive sales across all channels.

InMobi in partnership with YouGov surveyed around 3,000 smartphone users in three key markets (Australia, Indonesia & India) to determine what drives people to shop via mobile; how they currently use mobiles during the path to purchase, how they want to use their mobiles for shopping, the role mobiles play in influencing purchasing decisions, how they could be encouraged to shop more using mobiles; what is important to them when doing so; and crucially, the implications for retailers.

Here’s what we found:

  1. Mobile devices play a significant role in the purchase journey: The survey found that while most smartphone users already prefer to use mobile devices over PCs for inspiration and information about FMCG/retail products, more than a third of them plan to use their devices for retail purchases in the next 12 months.
  2. Information they are seeking on mobile: Most respondents, nearly half, used mobile devices (smartphone or tablet) in the research and evaluation phase of the journey. They highlighted price comparisons and detailed product information as the top two types of content that inform purchase decisions.
  3. Use of mobile apps remains high: When it comes to researching products, smartphone users most frequently download price comparison apps. Also popular are grocery coupon apps, barcode scanners and shopping list apps.
  4. It is a high-conversion channel: The study highlights how mobile advertising helps drive the consideration and purchase of retail goods. After seeing mobile ads, nearly half of them have sought out information at least once in the last six months: visited a store, located directions on a map and have called a retailer.
  5. Ad formats that create high impact: Ads with special deals, promotions or coupons had the greatest resonance among smartphone users. This is followed by ads featuring the latest products and prices.

apple-pay-8The study shows that smartphone users are looking for convenience – such as efficient mobile payment solutions – and security when buying on a mobile device. They would also like to see a better use of their time, through personalized advertising and innovative ways of showing product information. Faster delivery times are also listed as an improvement they’d like to see.

Here are a few tips for marketers to take advantage of the high intent-to-purchase likelihood and convert them into their mobile funnel.

  • Platform – It’s important to ensure your web platform is appropriately optimized for mobile devices and have a native app for advanced features. It’s important to look into minute details which can make the mobile experience better such as the ability to activate click to call or find current pricing based on location.
  • Content – When an eager purchaser finds you on a site or the mobile, the information you have at this point will help them make a smart buying decision and understand how differentiate yourself with others. It is important to create relative content which is geared towards the first touch point and equally important the content is available across all channels and for mobile it should be short, focused and relevant.
  • Incentivize – Users are always on the lookout for good deals and targeted discounts could just be the thing which will encourage them to purchase. Consider offering exclusive discounts on mobile through specialized mobile advertising platforms.
  • Improvise – Understand how to make the most of opportunities the mobile creates. Consumers behavior evolve in real time on the mobile channel and it’s time to invest and improvise in the foundation, experiment and test solutions to see what works with the mobile funnel.


shamala-dn-e1440155653671Shamala DN

Global Research Manager


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The consumer path-to-purchase is becoming complex. No longer is shopping entirely online or offline rather consumers are taking a blended approach on using the channel best suited for their needs. Newer innovations like wearables and connected cars will make a consumer’s retail journey even more complex and hence it is important for the brands to sustain engagement, keep pace with their audiences and understand how their consumers to operate a cohesive multi-channel strategy. For marketers, it is important to put the user ahead of everyone and deliver a consistent, personalized and content-rich experience that users will fall in love with.

This piece originally appeared on the InMobi blog and is reused with kind permission. Download the full report from the InMobi website.