How Consumers Make Smatphone-prompted Purchases
By on September 18th, 2011

Overall, 16% of smartphone users in US say they’ve made a purchase as the result of a marketing message they received on their smartphone. Android users are the most likely to report making a purchase after receiving a message on their smartphones (21%), followed by Windows Phone owners (19%), iPhone owners (17%), and Blackberry users (10%).

This should be a positive sign for marketers as it indicates the consumer perception of mobile purchases; although they can complete the purchases through multiple channels.

imageOn a Computer

43% of these consumers (about 7% of all US mobile consumers) have completed their purchase on a desktop, laptop, or tablet computer. This makes tracking purchases very difficult, as many effective marketing messages received on smartphones are leading to purchases from a computer.

In Person

35% of these consumers (about 5.5% of all US mobile consumers) report completing their purchase in person. This aligns closely with the original notion of mobile shopping, in which people could receive messages on the go, and these messages would prompt a visit to a physical store where the purchase could be completed in person.

Email Messages

Email is most likely to drive purchases either through a browser or through apps. Email isn’t as effective at driving in-person or in-app purchases.

Facebook and Twitter Messages

Both Facebook and Twitter tend to drive purchases that can easily be tracked on the phone itself, including purchases made through the browser, through apps installed on the phone, and through the app store.

Text Messages

Text messages are the most likely to drive in-person purchases— even more so than messages delivered through location-based social networks like Foursquare and Gowalla. A well-timed text can drive store traffic—but marketers should use restraint with this tactic, as texting is still considered a sacred space by many consumers.


Apps represent a closed system on the smartphone, and messages delivered through apps don’t tend to prompt purchases through other channels. However, in-app purchases have the distinct advantage of providing simple, straightforward purchase tracking.


Cleary, email is most likely to drive purchases either through a browser or through the app store. Email isn’t as effective at driving in-person or in-app purchases. It’s both fascinating and instructive to explore the correlations between how messages are received and how purchases are completed. Looking at how messaging channels and purchasing channels line up, gives insights into the specific types of messages that are likely to drive specific types of purchases.

Source: ExactTarget

Tags: , , , ,
Author: Abhishek Baxi
Abhishek Baxi is an independent technology columnist for several international publications and a digital consultant. He speaks incessantly on Twitter (@baxiabhishek) and dons the role of Editor-in-Chief here at Techie Buzz.

Abhishek Baxi has written and can be contacted at

Leave a Reply

Name (required)

Website (optional)

Copyright 2006-2012 Techie Buzz. All Rights Reserved. Our content may not be reproduced on other websites. Content Delivery by MaxCDN