Omni-Channel Shoppers’ Pros and Cons of Mobile Commerce (Study)

Why do people shop via their mobile devices and, conversely, why don’t people shop using their mobile devices?

Why do people shop via their mobile devices and, conversely, why don’t people shop using their mobile devices?

A recent study by GfK on behalf of Facebook IQ drilled into the habits of more than 2,400 adult “omni-channel shoppers,” defining omni-channel shoppers as those who researched and bought online via a variety of channels—mobile phones, tablets, desktops or laptops and in-store.

On the positive side for mobile shopping, GfK found that:

  • 45 percent of all shopping journeys today involve mobile, with that figure climbing to 57 percent for millennials.
  • 56 percent of respondents said they made purchases on mobile devices because they were already using those devices.
  • 55 percent did so because they can do it anywhere and anytime.
  • 60 percent said they will begin purchasing more on their smartphones in 2016 or purchase more, and 64 percent said they will use those devices for more shopping research.
  • 61 percent said they expect to use their smartphones more while they are in physical stores.
  • 46 percent of respondents who researched product ratings or reviews prior to offline purchases did so via mobile devices, while 36 percent used those devices to compare prices and 51 percent researched products while in-store.

What reasons motivated respondents who preferred to purchase in-store or via desktop or laptop? GfK found that:

  • 56 percent find it easier to see all available products.
  • 55 percent find it easier to use devices with larger screens.
  • 27 percent find it difficult to compare products or retailers via smartphones or tablets.
  • 26 percent find it difficult to enter personal data on smartphones or tablets.
  • 70 percent of mobile shoppers say the overall website and application experience can be improved, while 71 percent said the same for the transaction experience.


Finally, Facebook IQ offered the following takeaways for marketers on the social network:

  • Create a seamless experience: 54 percent of omni-channel shoppers say they are more likely to shop with a retailer that makes it easy to buy on several devices. As integrated online/offline shopping becomes the new normal, brands should ensure that shoppers’ online experiences are as smooth as their brick-and-mortar experiences and equally as enjoyable.
  • Don’t underestimate the impact of mobile: Viewing the path to purchase through separate channels—mobile versus desktop versus offline—doesn’t reflect the way the world is changing. The rise in m-commerce presents brands with a chance to rewrite the rules of success by adapting to change and building a future-ready business.
  • Guide consumers from consideration to purchase: Give people what they want and design for where they are. Brands can use the power of personalization to help people discover the content, products and services most relevant to them.
  • Build for visual discovery: As we shift to a more visual language on mobile—one that is made up of photos, emojis, stickers and video—brands will have to rethink how they present product details in a visually impactful way that’s clear yet small-screen friendly.

Readers: How do your mobile shopping habits compare with GfK’s findings for Facebook IQ? David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.