Consumers go beyond basic price checking with mobile phones

in Utilities (E)

[] Boston, Massachusetts - Consumers have graduated beyond using their mobile phones as barcode scanning and price checking to actually make purchases and to watch for future price changes. Evoqu, the developer of mobile-shopping service ShopAdvisor, named the top free Utilities app of 2011 by Apple, found that during the five-day period from Thanksgiving Day to Cyber Monday, consumers used their mobile phones not only to check prices using barcode scan, but also to make purchases, to save items for later consideration, and to receive notifications of product availability and price shifts.

Based on a sample of 100,000 users of ShopAdvisor, Evoqu discovered the following:

* Three different shopping modes using mobile. Consumers fell into three categories of shopping modes during the long shopping weekend: in-store price checkers, "couch commerce" buyers, and deferred purchasers. Of those making a purchase, 11% made the purchase after barcode scanning a product label inside a brick-and-mortar store. 54% of purchases were made by consumers - made while out or relaxing on the couch after Thanksgiving dinner - by searching for and purchasing products from their mobile device. In addition, 35% of purchases were made only after mobile consumers were alerted to a sale price on a purchase they had deferred by putting it on their ShopAdvisor WatchList days or weeks earlier.

* If it costs more than $156, consumers will wait. During the holiday shopping weekend period, ShopAdvisor users added $1.4 million of products on WatchLists, with an average price of $156. When users put an item on a WatchList, they are deferring the purchase to later. Some are waiting for a lower price, while others need more time to do research, to check with friends, or they wait until their next paycheck when they have enough money.

* Alert-driven mobile commerce spiked. During the Thursday-thru-Monday shopping period, there was a 319% increase in the number of items for which an alert was sent to users' mobile phones due to price drops of 7% or greater. During the weeks and months prior to Thanksgiving, the 100,000 ShopAdvisor users in the sample had placed more than 85,000 items in their WatchLists. By deferring earlier purchase decisions, ShopAdvisor users were able to take advantage of Black Friday and other weekend deals on products they had been waiting for.

* Mobile users shop locally, but not so much on Black Friday. The proportion of consumers who used ShopAdvisor to find local products dropped by 50% during the busy holiday shopping weekend. In the week prior to Thanksgiving, 20% of mobile users chose a local retailer to make a purchase, but from Black Friday through Cyber Monday, only 10% of users braved the mall or other local shops.

* Women's shoes, appliances and wristwatches among top ten shopping categories via mobile. Mobile consumers shopped for a wide variety of products directly from their phones. Toys topped the list with 13.8% of the searching and purchasing activity. More surprising is that personal items such as women's shoes (4.5%) and men's shoes (4.4%) were within close range to gift-giving favorites like consumer electronics. Also among the most active categories were kitchen appliances, watches, and outerwear.

Percentage of total mobile shopping activity by product category (Top 10):
* Toys 13.8%
* Tablets & media players 7.0%
* TVs 5.8%
* Xbox 360 games 5.1%
* Digital Cameras 5.0%
* Women's Shoes 4.5%
* Men's Shoes 4.4%
* Small Kitchen Appliances 2.3%
* Watches & Accessories 2.2%
* Outerwear 1.9%

About ShopAdvisor:
Unlike other shopping apps that focus on price comparisons in a store, ShopAdvisor is a shopping list that works for the consumer. The heart of ShopAdvisor is the WatchList, where users save gift and purchase ideas for later. ShopAdvisor keeps track of all those items, constantly searching for changes in price and availability. When the price shifts, ShopAdvisor alerts the user.

Device Requirements:
* iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad
* Requires iOS 4.0 or later
* 3.6 MB

Pricing and Availability:
ShopAdvisor 1.1.8 is free and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Utilities category. ShopAdvisor runs as a standalone app on iOS, Android, and also on the web.

Established in 2011, Evoqu, Inc. is a Boston-based software and services developer specializing in mobile shopping. The company focuses on the deferred purchase market, the time between a consumer has initial interest a product and the eventual purchase. Evoqu partners with leading eCommerce service providers to create solutions for consumers. Copyright (C) 2011 Evoqu, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.