Author: Micah Davis, Co-founder & CEO of Oven Bits
Smartphones and tablets have changed the way consumers go from discovery to intent to purchase. In the old model, discovery often came from traditional marketing channels. Today, mobile devices are the hub of an organic process that feeds into all steps of the process. Not only does this expedite the process, benefiting both consumer and company, but it also provides a new level of insight into what makes consumers tick.
How is this possible? Current trends show that more than half of online spending has shifted to mobile. It’s simply too convenient not to grow. Even a mere decade ago, if you wanted to purchase something online, you’d have to wait until you could get back to your computer, fire up a site, and process the purchase. But now, every store in the world is literally in your back pocket. Discovery can even happen online, with exposure from social media, online videos, or targeted advertisements.
The mobile phone also significantly weighs in between discovery and purchase. Research is a huge part of the smartphone’s impact on the consumer process. Three out of four consumers use their mobile phone to research products while in store, with 67% of consumers shifting between multiple devices when making a purchase decision. With the smartphone, everything from competing prices to user reviews to how-to videos are available while examining the product in person, and this resource has become the go-to tool of choice or consumers facing purchasing decisions.
Finally, when the consumer clicks the purchase button, much of it comes from mobile devices as well. The average transaction amounts in native apps mirror — and often exceed — web-based averages. This comes from both popular options like PayPal, traditional secure credit card merchants, and mobile wallet payment methods (Apple Pay, Android Pay), which now owns 10-15% of customer usage market share.
That demonstrates the end-to-end process of how the smartphone is being used by the consumer across all stages, but what insight can it give us into the how and why behind their purchase? That’s the true beauty of the smartphone. All of those ones and zeroes floating across wi-fi and data plans that load up product reviews or process secure transactions create trackable metrics. Consider this flow: 1) a consumer sees a mention on Facebook 2) researches it via Google searches 3) makes the purchase off Amazon. With appropriate analytics on all of these channels, you can see which social media campaigns are the most effective (1), which social proof avenues are most used (2), and what products are ultimately the most popular (3). By crunching the metrics, you now have unprecedented insight into what connects with potential customers and where they turn to before they make a decision.
For businesses, that perhaps is the biggest revelation of the smartphone age. Yes, it provides new ways for purchasing and engagement, but now industries have hard numbers to such a fine level of detail that it is possible to track a consumer’s every step behind mobile commerce decisions. With mobile growing as the focal point of consumer spending, the level of insight will only continue to grow — and with it, smart companies can stay ahead of the curve and sharpen their own branding and communication campaigns to make sure they’re delivering exactly what the consumer needs to win them over. All of this is possible because of one little device in your back pocket.