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Mobile Acts as a Nerve Center of the Canadian Shopping Experience
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Mobile Acts as a Nerve Center of the Canadian Shopping Experience

It’s almost impossible to go anywhere without seeing someone texting, video chatting or making a call from their smartphone. But smartphones aren’t just used for keeping in touch and playing games. Today, consumers also use the technology at their fingertips to research, run price checks and read reviews for a growing array of products they use in their daily lives.

From initial search to providing feedback, mobile shopping expands the e-commerce universe for consumers, retailers and manufacturers alike. Mobile users rely on their devices along the path to purchase either through an all-online process or through an “online-to-store-to-online” process. Even if consumers exit their online pathway to buy offline, mobile is still a vital stepping stone in the shopping journey. This includes searching and using coupons on their mobile device and using lists for shopping (wedding registry, etc.) created either on their mobile device or saved on apps.

In many ways, mobile is giving savvy retailers a leg up over their competitors. That’s because consumers are using the online sites to do everything from find a store to check for discounts and promotions before they make their journeys. These retailers know that in today’s connected world, it’s rare for consumers to make a purchase without going online first to do their homework.

But it’s not just pre-purchase activities that have consumers reaching for the closest mobile device. Today, mobile shopping plays a role throughout the entire path to purchase. Mobile expands the universe of possibilities. Mobile users search, circulate, compare products, brands and prices. For example, seven in 10 say they’ve used an e-commerce site as an aid to making a purchase, and six in 10 say they read reviews before making a purchase and to provide feedback. With digital at their fingertips, consumers have never been as empowered in their path to purchase as they are today.

While mobile shopping in Canada still accounts for a relatively small portion of overall fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sales (1.4%), it is gaining momentum. Retailers and manufacturers that optimize their mobile shopping strategies by providing personalized experiences, such as with custom landing pages and products relevant to their needs, will benefit from this growing appetite of easy and convenient shopping experiences. However, ensuring a quality mobile experience should be the top priority, as poor mobile experiences will lead to dissatisfaction and drive shoppers to competitors’ storefronts, sites and apps.

Methodology

The Nielsen Canadian Mobile Wallet syndicated study was fielded online from Aug. 22 to Sept. 16, 2016, in both English and French among 2,009 Canadian respondents aged 18+.To qualify for the study, respondents were screened on the following criteria: They must shopped using their mobile device (smartphone or tablet) in the past 30 days.