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Males overindex for usage of mobile coupons, QR codes: study

Thirty percent of North American shoppers have smartphones, and men are more likely than women to use mobile coupons and QR codes, according to a Better Homes and Gardens survey.

The American Shopper Study, a collaborative effort with Meredith Corp.’s Better Homes and Gardens, BrandSpark and SSI, is an online survey of 63,664 American consumers ages 18-plus who are involved in household shopping. It was conducted in both the U.S. and Canada with more than 100,000 North American Shoppers surveyed, which BrandSpark claims makes it the largest North American survey of shoppers.

“A key finding of the survey is that smartphones are a good medium for reaching males with product information,” said Robert Levy, president and CEO of BrandSpark International, Toronto, and founder of the Best New Product Awards. “Ecoupons are much more effective with males than traditional paper coupons, and they are most effective with shoppers ages 18-34.

“The Android platform is growing in popularity, [although] the popularity of different smartphone brands varies regionally within the U.S.,” he said. “It may be relevant if content is platform specific.

“Marketers and retailers should ensure that their mobile media works on all three major smartphone platforms: iPhone, BlackBerry and Android OS.”

Meredith’s Better Homes and Gardens is the fourth best-selling magazine in the United States. It focuses on homes, cooking, gardening, crafts, healthy living, decorating and entertaining.

Reaching mobile shoppers
The key takeaways from the American Shopper study include the fact that three in 10 American shoppers own a smartphone, and they are more likely to be males.

Ownership is essentially tied between Apple’s iPhone and Research In Motion’s BlackBerry, with Google’s Android following closely behind.

Two in 10 consumers are planning to buy a smartphone in the next year, with the Android-based phones taking the lead in anticipated purchase.

BlackBerry is the least desired smartphone brand in repurchase among both current smartphone owners and new prospective smartphone owners.

Males are more likely than females to use their smartphone to download coupons, making mobile a good targeting medium for males.

Males are more likely than females to have used QR codes to access product information.

Anticipated new smartphone users are more likely than current owners to use ecoupons, including mobile coupons.

Almost half of American shoppers are at least somewhat likely to use ecoupons, many of which are accessed and redeemed via mobile devices.

The number of iPad owners will grow rapidly within the next year.

Early-adopters are twice as likely to own a smartphone and send twice as many texts as the average principal grocery shopper making mobile a medium an effective medium for targeting those most likely to try new products.

“Mobile is changing the face of shopping in the U.S. by converting paper coupons to electronic mediums, particularly on the retailer side,” Mr. Levy said. “Shoppers can download information and research products right in the store.

“Though not covered in the study, shoppers increasingly use mobile apps to help them find stores and products they are looking for while out,” he said.

Final Take
Jack Abraham, founder of, which was acquired by eBay