Marketing to Moms: 6 Ways the Smartphone Will Be Ms. Santa’s Little Helper

November 2, 2010 § 1 Comment

Mom is busy and intent on saving money this holiday season.  So her smartphone will be her direct line to Santa for all her shopping needs.  One-third of mobile users have smartphones and that number is steadily increasing with the availability of Androids and the new iPhone 4.  And by the way,  35% of those on the Internet began their shopping before August this year so stockings are already being filled.

A new study from Google provides a glimpse into this year’s holiday smartphone usage.


The number one use of smartphones for holiday shopping this year will be price comparison. You know you have seen that toy online at a cheaper price but should you go ahead and buy it or find out if it is cheaper at another discounter.  With the number of rolling Black Friday deals scheduled for November, Moms with smartphones will not be outsmarted by retailers.

The second most important use is product reviews.  Buying a camera and want to know how others rate it?  Get online and find out.  Want to know whether to go to The Nutcracker or Holiday on Ice?  See what others have said about the show.  Sixty-four percent of shoppers read reviews always or most of the time before making a purchase, and the length of time they are spending on reviews is growing.  Reviews are so valued by consumer review sites like TripAdviser that they are rewarding their customers after they have written a useful review.  And 57% of shoppers trust consumer reviews.

The third most important use is searching for a coupon or promotion. Some 91% of consumers 25-34 use coupons.  And with the onslaught of more coupons and coupon savers websites, these savvy shoppers know where to look to see what promotions are available to them.  In fact, couponing has become an addictive hobby for many of these younger shoppers.

The other uses for the smartphone are predictable – located a retailer, searching availability of an item (really important for power shoppers), and actually purchasing an item.  The one about purchasing?  Really important.  Here’s how it plays out:  You have been looking for a very specific item and thought it was at the department store you visited.  Time is running out but you can purchase it online and have it shipped or available for pick-up, just in time for the holidays.  And no standing in line to do it.

Seems that how we shop is changing but the internet is at the heart of most shopping expeditions.  Fifty-one percent of us do research online and then buy at the store.  Another 42% of us research online and buy online.  And some of us visit the store and then buy online.  The inter-related importance of multichannel touchpoints has never been more important.

The sad part is that some retailers are not prepared.  They don’t have an adequate website.  They haven’t invested in a mobile site.  And they don’t realize that the smartphone shopper has discounted them before they even looked at their prices.  Ms. Santa is one sharp shopper this year.




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