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47pc of tablet owners access retail content: Millennial Media

Tablet owners are proving to be a particularly lucrative market for retailers since nearly half of these consumers visit retail mobile applications and sites, according to a new report from Millennial Media.

The mobile ad network partnered with comScore for its newest Mobile Intel Series that takes a look at how consumers and marketers view mobile’s role in the overall shopping experience. Millennial Media reports that retail advertising spend on its platform has grown 10 percent year-over-year this quarter.

“Retail brands often approach mobile in a different way than advertisers from other verticals, and one example is in their campaign goals,” said Marcus Startzel, chief revenue officer of Millennial Media, Baltimore, MD.

“Increasing store traffic was the top campaign goal in 37 percent of retail campaigns, compared to just 9 percent of total campaigns on our platform,” he said. “This can be seen in the frequent use of store locators, which were included in 41 percent of retail campaigns.”

Savvy shoppers
According to the Millennial study, mobile now makes up 51 percent of the time that consumers spend within retail mobile apps and sites. This is split up with 37 percent of usage taking place on smartphones and 14 percent on tablets.

Time spent in retail apps and sites has grown a whopping 385 percent since 2010.

There are also some interesting differences in the demographics of mobile shoppers, per the findings.

In Europe, men are 16 percent more likely to access mobile retail content than women. Men in the United States are 5 percent more likely to access content.

Fifty-eight percent of male consumers scanned a product bar code, and 57 percent researched product features via mobile.

This is considerably less than women, with 35 percent of women scanning a bar code and 33 percent choosing to research products via their mobile phones and tablets.

Women tend to be more swayed by friends and family when it comes to how they use mobile to shop. For example, 45 percent sent a picture of a product to friends and family members via mobile compared to 34 percent of men.

The full list of what consumers use mobile for when shopping

Unsurprisingly, mobile shoppers also skew towards younger audiences, with 27 percent fitting in the 25-34-years-old bracket and 21 percent ages 35-44.

The mobile retail audience is split fairly equally among iOS and Android users. Forty-five percent of the audience comes from iOS users, and 48 percent own an Android device.

However, these mobile users are not taking away from desktop traffic, and the research suggests that mobile can actually extend a retailer’s audience.

For example, the study found that mobile grows a retail desktop audience by 45 percent.

The stats point to cross-screen approaches as one of the strongest value propositions, especially since mobile commerce is still new to many retailers.

Retailers should leverage mobile as a way to connect shopping screens across multiple devices to ultimately trigger consumers to buy on whatever device they choose, per the report.

Seventy-three percent of mobile shoppers search for better prices on their devices, and 22 percent buy coupons or discount deals via their devices.

Forty-four percent of men and 43 percent of women used their smartphones to find mobile coupons.

Mobile behavior
The study also looked at the differences in types of products that consumers want to buy on smartphones and tablets.

Clothing and accessories were the most popular type of good for both smartphone and tablet users. Fifty-four percent of tablet users and 39 percent of smartphone owners bought clothing or accessories via their devices.

Books were another popular category, with 29 percent of tablet users and 23 percent of smartphone owners buying the goods via their devices.

Therefore, it should not be a surprise that 34 percent of retail spend on Millennial’s platform came from national retailers in the first quarter of 2013.

Computing and electronics brands pulled in 21 percent, and 19 percent of spend came from clothing and luxury brands.

Thirty-seven percent of retail marketers cited increased foot traffic as the reason behind using mobile advertising, and 34 percent want to increase traffic to their mobile and Web properties.

Location-based targeting also continues to be one of the most effective ways that retailers are driving consumers to stores.

As marketers gear up for holiday spend, the report implies that mobile will play a more prominent role in overall marketing mixes this year than in past years.

“Retail advertisers spend an average of three times more in Q4 than the rest of the year, so we’re approaching a crucial time of the year for these brands,” Mr. Startzel said.

“This holiday season, we expect to see retail advertisers create unique mobile experiences that will not only drive brand awareness, but actively help consumers undertake popular mobile activities, such as comparing product prices, scanning bar codes or researching product features,” he said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York