IAB Reveals First-Ever List of Top Mobile Shopping Savvy U.S. Cities

Understanding the crucial role of mobile in marketers’ holiday strategies, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and its Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence released “Mobile Shoppers,” a new report that looks at how consumers’ access to mobile data will inevitably influence both what they buy and where they buy it. In addition, the study unveils the first-ever ranking of the most mobile shopping savvy cities in the U.S.

When it comes to being adept, able and prone to shop on mobile devices, “Space City” consumers nabbed Houston the highest spot on the list, followed by New York and Atlanta. Perhaps surprising to those who think of San Francisco as the hub of technology on-the-go, the Bay Area did not break into the top 10, landing instead at 11th place in the rankings.

  1. Houston
  2. New York
  3. Atlanta
  4. Los Angeles
  5. Dallas/Ft. Worth
  6. Tampa/St. Petersburg
  7. Chicago
  8. Philadelphia
  9. Washington, D.C.
  10. Seattle/Tacoma
  11. San Francisco/Bay Area
  12. Boston
  13. Detroit
  14. Minneapolis/St. Paul
  15. Phoenix

The rankings were determined by looking at the mobile shopping audience today along with the distribution of mobile-savvy shoppers across major U.S. cities. The research used to determine the list refers to “mobile shopping” to mean both completing purchases via a phone or tablet and using a phone or tablet to research or shop for products that are later purchased in physical retail locations or online.

“Early data this holiday season already indicated the growing importance of mobile as a shopping tool,” said Joe Laszlo, Deputy Director, IAB Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence. “Identifying mobile shoppers and delivering relevant messages to consumers as they are in shopping mode represents a key opportunity for marketers. That’s why we took this study one step further – pinpointing cities where advertisers would need to quickly embrace mobile strategies as a part of their overall plans to attract shoppers, both during the holiday season and throughout the year.”

Some of the other findings explored in this report include:

  • Mobile shoppers are younger and have higher incomes than the average mobile user
  • Ten percent of U.S. mobile users use their mobiles for comparing prices
  • Almost 20 percent of U.S. mobile users use their phones to text or call family or friends about a product while in a store

To download the entire “Mobile Shoppers” study please visit www.iab.net/mobileshoppers

In creating the “2011 IAB U.S. Mobile Shopping Savvy Cities Index,” IAB Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence leveraged BIGinsight’s Simultaneous Media Survey (SIMM), a biannual survey of over 20,000 consumers, conducted in June 2011, a large enough sample to yield data on mobile usage for each of the top 15 U.S. DMAs. The IAB examined four key data points: ownership of a mobile device (primarily smartphones or tablets), propensity to be influenced by mobile coupons, ownership of a mobile retail app on a handset or tablet, and ownership of a mobile social media app. For each of these data points, the IAB constructed an index for each DMA relative to the U.S. national average. The IAB then combined them into a single metric, weighting device ownership most heavily, followed by coupon influence and retail app ownership. Social media apps, as conduits for sharing shopping and other information, received a relatively lower weighting.


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