Brits Turning to Mobile for Shopping Tasks

Brits are increasingly ditching the shopping list for impulse purchases when they hit the grocery stores, according to new research from Microsoft Advertising.

The Mobile Consumer Journey study looked at 3,500 people from around the world and their use of mobile platforms when supermarket shopping. It found that, despite the current economic climate, 90 per cent of shoppers go ‘off list’ and make impulse in-store purchases.

The study also found that 40 per cent of UK shoppers compare prices on their mobile device. It also identified a demand for mobile services “that are not currently widely available”. 20 per cent) said they want to pay for grocery shopping using their mobile device (er? – Ed.), while 17 per cent want to download nutritional information about products in store.

19 per cent of UK respondents said they have ditched paper-based shopping lists and are instead saving ‘must have’ grocery items on their mobile, while 16 per cent have redeemed money-off coupons direct from their mobile device.

“The Mobile Consumer Journey research raises many interesting findings for brands and advertisers alike,” said Faye Weeks, senior marketing research intelligence manager in Microsoft’s Advertising and Online Division. “On one hand, you have the ‘head-driven’ consumer, analytically studying and comparing prices whilst on the move and downloading money off coupons. At the same time, 90 per cent of us go off list and buy items that we hadn’t planned to. In retail, clearly the heart very often still overrules the head and everyone is susceptible to the allure of impulse buys.”

As well as the UK, the survey also quizzed mobile users in the US, Brazil, S. Korea, and Japan. It found that the Korean’s are most likely to use their mobiles for comparing prices (67 per cent) and downloading vouchers (69 per cent) versus an average of the other countries assessed of 53 per cent respectively. Brazilians are mostly likely to manage their shopping lists (58 per cent) and pay using their mobiles (45 per cent).

“All in all, the research points to a general global trend of consumers putting mobile at the heart of their shopping experience,” concluded Weeks. “The study found that on average, 30 per cent of consumers in the countries surveyed are already managing their shopping list on their mobile, and up to 70 per cent have downloaded vouchers. These numbers will continue to grow, and it is a compelling incentive for brands to have the development of mobile advertising and retail promotional strategies front of mind.”