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Smartphone users are on the web so much that they are becoming ‘ubiquitous shoppers’, research suggests…

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Some 93% of smartphone owners now access the internet using their phones and 57% have bought products using their phones, presenting substantial new opportunities for retailers and brands to target shoppers not only while they’re in stores or logged in at their computers, but at any time or any place, finds a study by Savvy Marketing.

The research suggests that despite the portable nature of mobile phones, a lot of smartphone-based internet browsing currently takes place at shoppers’ homes: with 85% of respondents said they do this. Of particular note, 60% of shoppers said they’d accessed the internet on their phone while watching TV, confirming the continuing rise of so-called ‘second-screening’- where people interact with TV content using their phones.

Outside of the home, shoppers are most likely to be online while commuting (51%), at a bar/pub (45%) and at work (42%). Crucially for retailers, 36% of shoppers are increasingly using their phones to access the internet while they’re out shopping.

The research also investigated how shoppers use their phone to help them plan grocery shopping trips. It found that 45% of shoppers use their phones to look for product information, 34% use it to check the location of a store and 33% have looked up prices. Shoppers are also increasingly using their phones to seek out discount vouchers – mentioned by just of one-quarter of those in the survey.

Alastair Lockhart, Head of Insight at Savvy Marketing explains: “In the past, retailers and brand owners have had to wait until people were in ‘shopper mode’ – either in a store or sat at their computer, before they could sell to them. However, the proliferation of smartphones now means that shoppers are constantly connected and can literally be inspired to buy a product at any time or any place. This is a trend we call ubiquitous shopping.”

“This trend is forcing retailers, brands and marketers to change the way they think about shopping and advertising. With shoppers now able to buy products from their favourite retailers at pretty much at any time, traditional advertising should no longer only be about building awareness and love of brands, it should be actively encouraging a purchase. Increasingly the path to purchase is not about a linear shopping experience that involves someone walking around a supermarket, the path to purchase is simply the way that people live their lives – inspiration can hit at any time and they should be able to buy at any time.” Lockhart concludes.

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