Americans look to mobile shopping research first, then head to stores

Devices mobile shopping research

New research shows that most U.S. consumers will check out a product online before buying in person.

Last year, the American e-commerce market watched mobile shopping research take off before consumers were even getting in their cars to visit stores. In fact 88 percent of consumers were using the internet to read up on products before making an in-store purchase.

During the holiday season, many people who had planned to shop online headed to brick and mortar shops.

In the United States, holiday shoppers used online and mobile shopping research to guide both e-commerce and in-store purchasing decisions. While 72 percent researched products with the intention of buying specifically on Amazon, another 60 percent still intended to head into stores in real life despite the fact that they were doing their research on the internet.

The eCommerce Foundation released the results of recent research showing that in 2017 about three in every four online shoppers would use pretty much any form of internet access to research and buy products. This includes computers, tablets and smartphones.

Whether using computer or mobile shopping research the device of choice depended on the goal.

Devices mobile shopping researchThe research showed that online shoppers still have a preference for using laptops and desktops overall. This is their preferred choice for both looking into products as well as for making actual purchases. This was particularly the case when the shopper was browsing. However, when the consumer knew exactly what they wanted to buy, they became more comfortable using a smartphone to read reviews and then either head to a store to buy it, or actually make the purchase over the mobile device.

Seventy six percent of mobile users who used their smartphones for making purchasing decisions or for actually buying did so due to the time savings. The device was handy, so they used it. However, 67 percent of online consumers said they felt that the small pages and tiny buttons and links made mobile device use a challenge when it came to shopping.

The research also indicated that the most frustrating part of a mobile shopping research and purchasing experience was the actual checkout process. Filling out a form on a computer may be quick and easy when using a mouse and keyboard. However, touchscreens offer an entirely different experience that users found unappealing and aggravating. This lead to far greater shopping cart abandonment over mobile devices than laptops and desktops.

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