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Mobile searches often lead to in-store purchases: report

Mobile played a big part in consumer shopping habits at the Super Bowl this year, according to a new report from Criteo.

Consumers ordered more items online during this Super Bowl than ever before, the majority oh which came from groceries and food. Most of those purchases came from mobile, showcasing the channel’s unique immediacy that gets consumers to order more spontaneously than they would on a desktop.

“The US is in the midst of a major shift towards eGrocery, and mobile has a huge role to play,” said John Roswech, executive vice president of Criteo brand solutions at Criteo. “We know from our data that mobile phone shopping now surpasses that of desktop or tablet, and on the weekends can encompass half of all purchases.

“eGrocers are innovating with delivery options such as ‘click & collect’ and ‘click and pick,’” he said. “The Super Bowl is a big family gathering event, and busy moms are increasingly turning to mobile devices for their grocery shopping needs.”

Super Bowl searches
The Super Bowl is one of America’s most commercialized annual events, so it is no surprise that online transactions were through the roof this year.

A new report from Criteo looks at the many transactions that were made during the Super Bowl, what categories dominated and how customers made those purchases.

The most important factor to note is that food and groceries was far and away the dominant category when it come to the week of the Super Bowl.

Criteo found that the average online shopping cart at a grocery retailer was over $150 for that week.

What is more is that Criteo routinely finds that mobile dominates when it comes to these types of purchases.

In addition to groceries, consumers also searched heavily for TVs before and during the Super Bowl.

“While we don’t expect that people were buying 4K TV on their phones, they likely were researching consumer electronic products on them, and then going in-store to see whether they preferred LED or OLED (our data shows these searches),” Mr. Roswech said. “For example, one of our largest consumer electronics retailer clients has both a ‘Click & Collect’ program as well as a ‘Click & Ship’ program.

“Both options make a lot of sense from a convenience standpoint,” he said. “Why would I possibly want to haul a 54” TV around a mall when I can have it shipped home with one click on my phone?”

Mobile shopping habits
Those search numbers are important, even for physical retailers who want to capture the mobile audience.

Most often, consumers who search for products on their phones are not necessarily looking to order them right there, but to research them for later when they do decide to go out and buy them.

This is especially true for millennials, 86 percent of whom use mobile while shopping in-store (see story).

Smart retailers are taking advantage of this for research purposes. Fifty-one percent of retailers conduct market research on mobile sites (see story).

That is a good place to look, considering the amount of mobile searches that can lead directly to in-store purchases.

“Another important point is that consumers don’t think about going from one channel to another, or online or offline,” Mr. Roswech said. “Marketers need to adopt omnichannel, cross-device strategies that deliver a holistic experience no matter how shoppers choose to buy or research products.

“Mobile poses many challenges for brands as the ‘shelf space’ is so much smaller,” Mr. Roswech said. “Sponsored product ads that are relevant to both the shopper and their purchase journey can aid in making the sale.”