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A new study has examined the impact of mobile technology on shopping patterns.
The study conducted at Northwestern University focused on how many websites have recently converted their format to mobile and thus, how people utilize their mobile devices to buy groceries.
Doctoral student Rebecca Jen-Hui Wang and marketing professors Edward C. Malthouse and Lakshman Krishnamurthi explored changes in customers' spending patterns after adopting mobile shopping (M-shopping) via smartphones or tablets to compose, modify, or place grocery orders online.
The data was collected between 2011 and 2013 from an Internet-only retail grocer that operates mainly in the northeast US.
Although 70 percent of transactions with the grocer were still being conducted via personal computer during this period, the researchers were able to identify key patterns among customers who were increasingly using mobile technology.
In one key finding, when customers used smartphones or tablets, whether in addition to or in place of, PCs, they spent more sessions shopping for groceries, perhaps composing their shopping list on the PC and later ordering via the mobile device. As the authors note, this finding suggests that M-shopping can lead to additional touch points between the M-shopper and the retailer.
The study is published in June issue of the Journal of Retailing.