Survey: Mobile Commerce Essential for Multitasking Moms

4/23/2013
Mom has a secret weapon when it comes to buying for her family as she juggles schedule-taming, work balancing, dinner making and homework helping. According to a new survey by Alliance Data Retail Services – a provider of marketing-driven credit card programs – many Moms are tapping into their mobile phone's capabilities to help with their hectic lives, whether via text, tag or talk.

The Alliance Data Mobile Moms Retail Survey, which measured the attitudes and opinions of female store-branded credit card holders about their mobile devices, found that when Moms are ready to shop 'til they drop, they often look to tap and scroll versus drive and park – and 29 percent of moms say the No. 1 reason they use their phones to shop is because it's quick and easy.

The multichannel mom
Moms are the chief purchasing officers for a household, whether it is for groceries, household products or clothes. And they're incorporating their mobile phones as part of their normal shopping routine to compare prices, find coupons or promotions, or browse retailers' websites. According to the survey, more than half of mothers who own a mobile device use them at least once a week as part of their shopping experience in some capacity.

"Moms are learning how to flex their spending power through tools such as mobile applications, and are using the phones' powerful search and filtering capabilities to make informed purchasing decisions," said Melody Gintert, senior manager, market intelligence for Alliance Data Retail Services. "Mobile commerce is an important tool for everyone, but especially for Moms, as it provides yet another way to help them multi-task their way through the day as they continue to make buying decisions for the household while juggling the rest of their to-do lists."

The browser, the bargainer, the always-on buyer
The survey showed loud and clear that Moms want to hear from their favorite retailers, with the vast majority of moms surveyed (96 percent) indicating they like receiving SMS/text messages and emails from their favorite retailers. Receiving information about special offers, sales and new merchandise keeps moms engaged and encourages them to visit those retailers, whether in-person or virtually.

"Retailers are getting smarter about using technology to build loyalty," said Gintert. "As the primary consumer of the family, moms are the perfect target for initiatives that build brand affinity, encourage frequency of purchases and give shoppers reasons to buy more when they visit. If a retailer builds loyalty with a mom, they can win her entire family's business."

Online shopping and showrooming (when shoppers check out merchandise in a store and then search online for the best price) is a growing money-saving technique used by the current Mom crowd. In fact, 44 percent of moms surveyed said they use their devices to actively shop and compare products online, especially at electronics stores and big box retailers. This supports the need for retailers to not only get consumers into a store, but to also offer competitive prices. Moms say that the top category where they research or mobile-shop is clothing – either for themselves or other family members – closely followed by beauty items.

Moms are also using their smartphones' capabilities to make the shopping process easier. Using their phone's camera, for example, they can snap a photo and post it, tag it or send it to a friend, their spouse, or their kids for a quick opinion before purchasing the item – often while chatting with them from the store. Then if they're not ready to buy, they'll save the image to remember the item for later.

An American love affair
As a nation, American consumers are plugged in, online and in-the-know constantly, thanks to their mobile devices. This addiction to information makes mobile phones more of a necessity than a luxury. Moms surveyed admit (behind closed doors, of course) that they'd rather do without running water, TV or movies, and even time with their kids, than give up their mobile device for a month.

Gintert added, "Mobile technology provides people, and especially busy moms, with the flexibility to shop how they want, when they want, from wherever they want, so it's key for retailers to be where they are and make it as easy as possible to get what they want at the best price. Retailers who adapt and utilize mobile technologies through an omnichannel commerce platform will be the most successful in building loyal customers."

Survey methodology
In March 2013, 439 online surveys were completed through the Alliance Data Retail Services proprietary eCommunity database of current private label (store-branded) credit cardholders. Respondents were required to have at least one child in order to qualify.

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