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Mobile Calculations For Big Ticket Buys

mCommerce Comfort By Price Range, Q3 2011 vs Q3 2012

  • 49% of consumers would spend more than $100 on a purchase and through their mobile device;
  • Two-thirds would spend more than $50.
    • That’s up from 38% and 53%, respectively, in Q3 2011
Photo of woman shopping with a smart phone

Photo courtesy of ibmphoto24 on Flickr.

THOUGHT: As much as bricks and mortar retailers try and fight it, the use of mobile technology is becoming a central part of our shopping experience.

As with most major online technologies, people treat the newcomers with caution until they become familiar enough with them to trust the technology with important things like their privacy and financial transactions. It took some time for people to trust websites to the point that an Amazon or an eBay could succeed as eCommerce juggernauts.

During a presentation I give about QR Codes, I emphasize the calculations people make about whether or not it is worth their time to go through the trouble of scanning a QR code. People are far less likely to scan a QR code on a bag of cherries, for example, than they would be for a big ticket item such as a smart phone. The more money that is at stake, the more likely people are to look for reassurance in the form of additional research, reviews, etc.

Once you get beyond concern about the security of the device upon which you are conducting a financial transaction, a similar dynamic is likely taking place with purchases on mobile devices.

I think about the type of purchases I make on my iPhone and iPad.

It does not give me much pause to buy mobile apps that appeal to me almost entirely on faith. I will check out how many stars the app has, read a review or two to see if there might be some glaring issue with the app but that’s pretty much it. If the app turns out to be a dud, I’m only out a buck or so.

I’ll buy an album by a band I don’t know but think I might like on Google Play because it will only cost me $3.99; the same goes for a Kindle book or even a Groupon deal for ten or fifteen bucks.

But the more something costs, the more research I’m going to do to assure myself I’m getting the value I need for my purchase. I’m not going to be doing that research in-store and I’m not going to be doing it on my iPhone.

Doing the type of research that I’ll need to do to justify the purchase of an HDTV or a smart phone will take too much time to do while I’m out an about and would be a pain in the butt to do on the small screen of a smart phone. For that, I’m going to use my computer or my iPad.

Though I may make the final purchase of a high ticket item on my iPad or even my phone, the path that led me to decide to make the purchase will have been varied.

The last time I was at Target, I noticed that only two of the numerous televisions they had on display featured QR codes on the product spec cards and those QR codes pointed to CNET reviews of the TVs.

Why not let me buy a TV on my phone right there and then? Let me avoid the checkout line entirely. What I haven’t seen is bricks and mortar retailers making it easy–or even possible–for me to easily make mobile purchases while I’m on site.

SUPER COOL TOOL: Social Gridiron – For this week’s Vikings vs. Packers game, the Pioneer Press rolled out Social Gridiron, a tool that measures the fan chatter on social media between Vikings and Packers partisans.

PODCAST: Beyond Social Media: POTUS Rocks Twitter & $500 Caviar Vending Machines – Listen to last week’s podcast and listen to Beyond Social Media with myself, Albert Maruggi & B.L. Ochman live every Tuesday night at 8:30 PM CST.

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About David Erickson

David Erickson is principal of e-Strategy Media, a digital marketing consultancy based in Minnesota. David has extensive experience in digital marketing and is often used as an expert source by media and asked to speak on the topic before organizations and to sit on panel discussions.

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