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Mobile influences purchase intent: IBM

An IBM study that surveyed 30,000 consumers found that mobile phones and other technology are big influencers of purchase intent.

Consumers? mindset drastically changed after the recession hit, leaving them with three demands for retailers and brands: Listen, know and empower.

?I think the biggest aha was that consumers want to be served and not sold to,? said Jill Puleri, global industry retail executive at IBM Global Business Services, Armonk, NY. ?They are using technology and it is a given for the shopping process.

?A whopping 86 percent want to use technology for shopping,? she said. ?Mobility is the biggest reason why.

?It is a given now that consumers have deconstructed the shopping process and when they have made it to the store they already know what they want.?

Serve don?t sell 
Service is very important to mobile consumers, who are increasingly on the go, per IBM.

The consumer should be at the center of any retailer?s strategy.

According to the study, in order to succeed retailers need to do three things:  listen to, know and empower consumers.

With social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, blogs, YouTube and reviews, shoppers are leveraging user-generated content more than ever before to discuss retailers, products and brands with friends, family members and strangers.

Retailers that listen to and participate in these conversations can obtain added insight into what customers want.

Knowing the consumer is important too.

A personalized shopping experience is still dominant in the mind of the consumer, according to IBM.

By offering deals and coupons for products that individual consumers buy regularly, retailers can increase average spend per customer and loyalty.

Lastly, IBM found that retailers must empower consumers by making it as easy as possible to shop however they choose to, whether it be mobile, online or in-store.

Mobility growth
Forty percent of the people surveyed want to check product prices wherever they are and get promotions based on the items they scan, while 50 percent are willing to use a personal mobile device to avoid the checkout lane.

The other piece that is interesting is 19 percent of consumers are influenced by the retailer, while the rest are influenced by friends, family and user-generated content.

?With mobility growing 92 percent year over year it is part of daily life,? Ms. Puleri said. ?Consumers might use the mobile Internet for awareness and perform mobile searches for price and product locations, but purchasing and locating stores are the two prime aspects of mobility.

?We found that what is different between mature and developing markets is that in mature markets like the U.S. and Europe, consumers want to opt in,? she said. ?They want to control the retailer?s access to communicate with them.

?In the emerging markets they don?t care. They are all for getting sent a coupon or hearing from a retailer on ways they can save.?