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42pc of female Canadian smartphone users research beauty products on mobile

A new study from Canadian agency Cossette finds that 41.7 percent of women who are smartphone owners surveyed said they used their mobile devices to research information about beauty products.

The study, which was conducted by research firm Mobindex for Cossette, found that although Canadian women are researching beauty products on their mobile devices, they are less likely to purchase from their handsets. The study also found a particular spike in women aged 18 to 34 with mobile phone habits.

“The main finding in this study is that mobile marketers need to target younger women when related to beauty,” said Malik Yacoubi, vice president of mobile marketing at Cossette, Montreal.

Beauty school
The “October 2011: Mobility in the beauty and retail industry” Cossette study looked at how women use mobile devices when making beauty product decisions.

Of mobile phone owners aged 18 to 34, 42.4 percent of women surveyed said they had used their mobile device to research beauty products.

Additionally, 11.3 percent of mobile phone owners aged 35 and older used their devices to help find information about beauty products, showing the gap in usage between age groups.

From all mobile phone owners, 21.8 percent said they used their devices to research beauty products.

The study also separated Quebec from the other results.

Of Quebec mobile phone owners aged 18 to 34, 21.1 percent said they had used their mobile devices to research products.

From all Quebec smartphone owners surveyed, 12.1 percent said they had used their device to access beauty product information.

The study also looked at what types of beauty information consumers are looking for while on-the-go.

Fifty-five percent of consumers who used their smartphones to access information on beauty products wanted to buy products. For Quebec consumers specifically, 22.7 percent of smartphone users were looking to buy products on their devices.

When using a smartphone to access the Web or search for information, 61.2 percent of Canadian women surveyed said they wanted to buy product samples. Similarly, 45.4 percent of Quebec residents were looking for samples.

Coupons are still a hot item as well. Almost 50 percent of Canadian women surveyed wanted to find discounts on products on their mobile devices. Particularly, 45.4 percent of Quebec women were looking for coupons.

“When people are looking for beauty products, they want to know the deeper advantages of particular products and are looking for reviews,” Mr. Yacoubi said.

Ad on beauty
The study found some interesting ways that consumers were receptive to mobile advertising on smartphones.

Of the Quebec residents surveyed, only 14.7 percent of women who are receptive to mobile advertising by cosmetic companies said it has a positive effect on their view of the brand.

From the rest of Canadian women who were responsive to mobile advertising, 42.6 percent of women said the mobile advertising had a positive effect on the company.

Consumers aged 18 to 34 were most responsive to mobile advertising.

According to Mr. Yacoubi, more impressions are coming from Android devices this year.

In May, 21 percent of traffic came from BlackBerry devices, but in September it was at 15 percent.

Traffic from Android devices grew from 10 percent in May to 17 percent in September.

“In the next two years, consumers will be looking to directly order beauty products on their devices, but we are not there yet,” Mr. Yacoubi said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York