Posted August 12, 2013 3:20 pm by with 1 comment

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mm mobile retailHere’s a crazy fact for Monday morning: The amount of time spent in retail content on smartphones has grown 385% since 2010 and combined, more time is now spent on smartphones and tablets than desktop.

Here’s the proof in blue, green and orange.

The numbers, and the graphic, both come from Millennial Media’s newest Mobile Intel Series report. This one is all about the retail sector and it’s full of interesting tidbits for online sellers.

For example, did you know that the mobile retail audience skews slightly male. Most are 18 – 44 (with 25 – 34 being the optimal age) and more than half have an income greater than $75,000.

When deciding whether or not to buy something via their smartphone, customers take several factors into consideration. I’ll bet you can guess which factor tops the list. . .

InfluentialFactorePurchasingProductSmartphoneEven though price is their main concern, customer reviews and coupons have a good chance of pushing them to press the checkout button.

What Are People Buying?

Millennial Media found that in most categories people prefer to shop on their tablet than on their smartphone. The two areas where the phone rules are for ordering a meal and for buying flowers – or both if you’re in really hot water with your significant other.

mm types of goods

As you can see, mobile shoppers love clothing and accessories. And this is one of those places where tablets far outweigh smartphones. I’d say this is because most online clothing outlets aren’t small screen friendly. There’s a lot of information per page and you a lot of details like size and color that you need to get right.

Physical books is another hot category for tablet owners. What boggles my mind is the lack of usage for travel. Hotel reservations, airline tickets and car rentals all landed at the bottom of the chart. Is this because people are buying these things on their PC or is it low because only a small percentage of people are making purchases in these categories?

In-Store Behavior

Millennial Media also notes that mobile isn’t just for buying online. Many people use mobile, online access to help them make a purchase decision. Men use it to compare prices, scan barcodes and research product features. Women use their smartphones to send product pictures to friends (presumably for an opinion – would this look good on me?) and for finding coupons.

If you’re just moving into mobile, Millennial Media has a few tips to help you reach your audience. All you have to do is give them your contact info and then you can have this new report for free.

As a thank you for reading this far, I’m going to share Millennial Media’s best tip with you right here, right now.

Give it a shot. The mobile audience is unique and consumers engage with and respond to mobile advertising differently than they do with other media. Mobile may be the way to test new ad concepts or experiment with a new idea or product. Use mobile  as a channel to test your most innovative ideas.

Simple, but I know that many of you are waiting for a better moment to dive in to mobile. Trust me, there is no better moment than right now.

  • NearWoo

    I particularly liked the stat that 33% of mobile shoppers take coupons into consideration. I’ve read that the efficacy of mobile advertising greatly increases when coupons or deals are included.

    NearWoo is a great solution for local mobile advertising–businesses can offer mobile users deals and coupons based on location or demographics. You can get 20% off using this link: but the first neighborhood is always free!