Noah Elkin of eMarketer Shares Why Mobile Rules

When Noah Elkin, Principal Analyst at eMarketer shares insights on mobile marketing we listen. That’s why his recent presentation in Chicago drew our attention. We’ve heard the basics: more consumers than ever are using smartphones, they’re using them simultaneously with other media like TV, and these habits combined are completely changing the consumer’s path to purchase. Noah shared more data behind those assertions, and the results are pretty astounding.

2012: Shopping goes cross-channel

Data shows that consumers are turning to a multitude of channels to shop. Rather than strictly shopping in-store or  online, 45% of consumers plan to combine online, brick-and-mortar and mobile into their shopping experience in 2012.

US Online shopping habits

Mobile users focus on shopping rather than buying

In this multi-channel process, mobile tends to be a research phase rather than the actual point of purchase. eMarketer statistics show that in 2012, 66% of smartphone users are considered mobile shoppers, while only 35% of smartphone users are actual buyers.

Consumers expect a multichannel-friendly experience

Consumers have high standards when it comes to the mobile shopping experience. According to a study from e-tailing Group and MyBuys, consumers consider the following factors vital to a successful cross-channel experience.

  • 80% say knowledge of products sold should be consistent from store to web to mobile
  • 72% expect to be able to look up product availability at stores locally before making a visit to the store
  • 42% would value a brand more if it remembered their buying and browsing behavior from all channels previously shopped (store, mobile, website, catalog)
  • 41% use online retail locators from websites and mobile phones to find convenient locations and check out upcoming promotions
  • 32% want the ability to use their mobile phone in-store to access product reviews, secure additional product information, price compare and locate merchandise at another store
  • 24% want to be able to read about promotions, get product info and interact with other customers on social media sites
  • 23% expect to receive relevant products and content from a retailer when shopping via mobile device based on past browsing and buying behavior across all channels

Mobile’s impact on path to purchase

With consumers turning to a variety of channels to make purchase decisions, Mr. Elkin said it best:

“Mobile changes the path to purchase from a set of sequential activities to activities performed concurrently, with a premium on context and location.”

Whereas the path to purchase used to be fairly simple and linear, the widespread adaptation of mobile has complicated that path.

US Online shopping habits


It’s no secret that mobile is the next big thing for digital marketers and consumers alike. This recent data from eMarketer simply makes the case more compelling.