(Multi-tasking performed by the frazzled)

We’re all frazzers, so when we have to do some shopping, we often get distracted.

It might start when you’re watching television. A Google and IPSOS study from September 2012 showed that 44% of us have browsed the internet while watching television (second most common activity behind emailing, at 60%).

If you don’t get round to buying an item or researching it at home on your couch, you’ll likely be out and about, using your smartphone to assist in your search or purchase. Smartphone penetration is advanced enough that by the end of 2013, we can safely start to think of these behaviours as being applicable to the majority of consumers. 

Smartphone penetration in the UK (TNS Enumeration study 2013)

  • 2011: 30%
  • 2012: 51%
  • 2013: 63%
  • End of 2013: 75%?

Sequential shopping

The same TNS study reveals that 56% ‘shop’ on their smartphone. I’ve added the inverted commas because sequential use is seen here.

Sequential, in that 61% of us that start shopping on a smartphone then go to a desktop to complete purchase.

Responsive websites and consistent UX (Harry gave the example of Curry’s) make this switching back and forth between devices easier than ever.

Additionally, more and more people are permanently signed in to their Google account, and more are using Chrome’s other-device history to browse again on desktop, mobile or tablet. 

What happens to smartphone shoppers that buy?

Of smartphone browsers that go on to buy, 24% found a store locator and bought in-store. 18% completed the purchase on their phone. Check out Google’s full view on multi-screen usage.

Google Maps has a big impact on shopping behaviour. Half of all Google maps usage happens on mobiles. Google is experimenting with Peter Jones in Sloane Square to provide in-store maps.

So maps can direct you from your current location to the perfumery counter of a department store. And this can be increasingly activated by voice.


Once in store..

A Cisco and Google survey in 2012 showed that 45% of smartphone users have researched products in-store. 20% of those consumers change their mind after said research.

Barcode scanner apps are a great method for consumers to do a quick price comparison, with a lot of them providing local data through Google product searches, advising where a particular product and price can be found. 

Call on me

And, of course, phones call. Using click-to-call in AdWords campaigns will enable mobile customers to easily get through to your call centre.

The ad can be set to display during call centre opening times. High value or complex goods are often easier to sell or up-sell on a phone call.

Google’s ‘Full Value of Mobile’ calculator allows retailers to calculate the value of mobile – from calls, apps, in-store, cross-device etc. by looking at traffic levels and conversion. You can link it to your AdWords data, too.

Wallet and Glass – getting rid of barriers

Harry took some questions and discussed the mix of physical and digital. Google Wallet and Google Glass, he advanced as products designed to get rid of obstructions to the consumer and the business. What if shop-workers were consultants, freed from the point of sale, free to discuss the products and interact with customers? No more standing behind a till all day.

Indeed, Apple Stores have led the way with this. You can use the products, talk to actual experts and only when you’re ready to buy do you need to broach the topic.

At which point, you can pay with a card, or with your Apple ID, just by touching your iPhone to a reader. 

Knowing mobile

Harry summed up thus, for those not knowing where to start.

  1. Find out how many of your customers interact via mobile.
  2. Assess the value these interactions add.
  3. Measure everything you can.