HomeBusinessEconomyRevolution of consumer behaviour: Exploring the transition of consumers to mobile shopping

Revolution of consumer behaviour: Exploring the transition of consumers to mobile shopping

Mobile shopping takes centre stage as retailers respond to shifts in consumer behaviour.

In an age of dynamic consumer behaviour, retailers are making significant investments and efforts in their online presence. With the advent of new technologies, consumers now consider online shopping as the new normal. While physical shopping was once preferred, the challenges and restrictions imposed by the pandemic have propelled consumers toward mobile shopping.

The emergence of mobile shopping

New technology has provided consumers with limitless access to information. Thanks to smartphones, consumers are now more closely connected to brands than ever before. In a study conducted by the Centre for Business and Economics Research in the UK, it was revealed that consumers contribute over 22.8 billion Euros annually to the mobile shopping industry while commuting on public transport.

Despite the lifting of pandemic restrictions, the profound impact of the global crisis on consumer purchasing behaviour remains evident, with lasting consequences likely to endure. One critical change that has emerged is the notable rise in mobile shopping, marking a pivotal change in consumer habits.

The UK Consumer Trends Index of 2023 highlights a significant shift in consumer behaviour and brand dynamics within the UK over the past three years. This period has witnessed more disruptive changes than the previous two decades combined.

Currently, the UK is facing unprecedented challenges, particularly as it stands as the first-ever G7 country to confront a recession. The escalating cost of living, soaring inflation, and prevailing political instability have greatly eroded consumers’ confidence in the market.

According to the Consumer Trends Index, 73 per cent of UK consumers express pessimism regarding the high cost of living. Furthermore, 72 per cent are pessimistic about the economy, while 50 per cent harbour concerns about their personal finances. Consequently, nearly 62 per cent of individuals intend to curtail their impulsive spending habits due to their perception of the overall economic situation.

In addition, despite adopting cost-cutting methods and reducing their online expenditure, a study finds that customers are still actively involved in online shopping and keen to embrace new technologies that improve their shopping experience.

What influences consumers’ buying decisions?

Consumer behaviour is a ubiquitous phenomenon, as every individual makes purchasing decisions influenced by various factors, some apparent while others are more subtle.

Understanding the intricacies of consumer behaviour holds great significance for retailers and marketers, enabling them to address consumer needs and establish effective connections. Numerous factors drive consumers in their decision-making process, and it is crucial for brands to master these factors to achieve desired levels of profitability. While different experts and scholars have identified various factors, categorising them into five primary subheads — Economic, Personal, Social, Cultural and Psychological — provides a more comprehensive understanding.

Within consumer behaviour, the psychological aspect plays a pivotal role, although it cannot be precisely measured. Consumers’ beliefs, perceptions and attitudes toward a product are often shaped by reviews, advertisements and promotional efforts.

One prominent framework in psychology is Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Model, which outlines the importance of human needs in a hierarchical order. According to this model, consumers prioritise products that fulfil their most fundamental needs before considering other options.

The social factor stands as another influential element shaping consumer purchasing decisions. As inherently social beings, humans often seek opinions from family, friends, acquaintances and social groups, which can strongly sway their product choices. For instance, when a family member provides a positive review of a product, the consumer is more inclined to make a purchase.

In a recent collaboration between Meta and PDI (Publicis Data Intelligence), a report was released, shedding light on the key factors driving consumer decision-making. Surprisingly, 92 per cent of the 1,000 respondents emphasised the significance of recommendations and reviews from their close circles, ranking them even higher than traditional advertisements. Furthermore, the study revealed that 74 per cent of consumers consider word-of-mouth recommendations from friends as a major influencing factor in their purchasing decisions.

Similarly, a consumer’s cultural background, values and ideologies play a crucial role in their purchase decisions. Culture shapes individuals’ perceptions of what is desirable and socially acceptable. For instance, research conducted by Julie Juan Li at The University of Hong Kong explored how the culture in Asia, which places importance on preserving one’s reputation, has driven even low-income earners to prioritise purchasing luxury brands.

Moreover, a customer’s buying choices are heavily influenced by economic factors, including wages, prices, inflation rates and employment. Scholars in the field of Economics concur with this perspective, asserting that the price of a product, the level of consumer income and personal preferences all contribute to determining the quantity of a product a consumer will purchase or whether they will make a purchase at all.

The surge in mobile shopping

Indeed, the dependence on digital and mobile devices has elevated mobile shopping to the status of the preferred channel for commerce.

A significant driving force behind the exponential rise in mobile shopping is the unprecedented impact of the pandemic. During these challenging times, mobile shopping served as a lifeline for both consumers and brands.

According to the Online Shopping Report by Klarna, which surveyed over 13,000 individuals across 13 countries, there has been a remarkable 67 per cent increase in online shopping among consumers in the United Kingdom since before 2020. The report also highlighted that even after the lifting of lockdowns, buyers continue to blend their online and physical shopping experiences. Notably, 62 per cent of buyers utilised their mobile phones to gather additional information about products while physically present in stores.

Mobile shopping empowers buyers to make well-informed purchasing decisions, as revealed by the report. Additionally, 90 per cent of respondents stated that they compare prices using their mobile phones.

Furthermore, the dominance of mobile shopping can be attributed to the integration of various online reward systems by brands. For instance, certain shopping apps require customers to download them to unlock exclusive coupons, discounts and rewards, further enticing users to embrace mobile shopping as their preferred method of commerce.

One prominent example of this trend is the Starbucks application, which serves as a versatile platform for customers. Through this app, consumers are promptly informed about special offers, and it enables them to earn free purchases after reaching a specific spending threshold. These enticing perks have played a significant role in motivating consumers to transition towards online shopping.

The convenience and ease associated with online shopping have placed it well ahead of traditional shopping methods. Mobile shopping, in particular, offers unparalleled convenience as shoppers have the flexibility to purchase products or services from anywhere and at any time. This inherent convenience factor has solidified the preference for mobile shopping among consumers.

How has social media impacted consumers’ decisions?

With the huge transition to online shopping, stores need to have a strong social media presence. Social media platforms are no longer solely utilised by consumers for purchasing; they also serve as valuable research tools. Furthermore, consumers heavily rely on online ads and product reviews when making informed purchase decisions. As a result, retailers must avoid excessive dependence on traditional marketing strategies.

One way that social media has impacted consumers’ decisions is the reduced consumer journey. According to a report by Deloitte, 29 per cent of shoppers are inclined to make a purchase on the very day they come across a product online. Furthermore, the report highlights that consumers with social media influence are more likely to make online purchases. Social media has effectively streamlined the consumer journey, simplifying the process to add items to

Another crucial aspect to consider when assessing social media’s influence is the power of reviews and recommendations. A report by Forbes emphasises that approximately 80 per cent of online buyers base their purchasing decisions on recommendations from their friends’ social media posts. This demonstrates the tremendous impact of peer influence in shaping consumer behaviour and purchase choices.

In line with these findings, Hubspot reveals that an impressive 71 per cent of consumers are inclined to purchase items based on recommendations they encounter on social media. This statistic highlights the growing importance of social media as a platform for authentic and trusted product endorsements.

Harnessing the power of social media is key to influencing consumers’ purchasing decisions. A new strategy that brands have adopted is influencing. Hiring a public personality to influence your brand’s niche can help to put the spotlight on your products. Recommendations from a popular influencer can give a consumer the confidence he needs to make a purchase.

Leveraging the power of social media is crucial for influencing consumers’ purchasing decisions. A contemporary approach that brands have embraced is influencer marketing. By enlisting the services of a prominent public figure within a brand’s niche, the company can effectively shine a spotlight on its products. A recommendation from a trusted influencer can instil confidence in consumers and motivate them to make a purchase.

According to a study by the Influencer Marketing Hub, nearly 50 per cent of Twitter users have bought a product or service based on a tweet from a reputable influencer. This statistic highlights the significant impact that influencer endorsements can have on consumer behaviour and their willingness to engage with a brand.

Another recent trend that has gained immense popularity among online buyers and brands is the use of “Ephemeral content”. Innovative features like stories provide brands with an opportunity to create authentic and relatable content. By showcasing behind-the-scenes footage and introducing the team behind the products, brands can foster a deeper connection with their customers, strengthening brand loyalty and engagement.

What can brands do to meet up with the changing consumer behaviour?

Social media platforms have created an equal ground for both buyers and brands, unlocking an opportunity for stronger relations. As per analytics by Google, an astounding 59 per cent of shoppers initiate their shopping journey through mobile channels. To capitalise on this shift in consumer behaviour, establishing a robust digital presence is imperative for any brand.

A crucial starting point is the development of a comprehensive digital ecosystem. This involves seamlessly integrating suppliers, internal departments, tools and customers to enhance overall business performance. By unifying all commerce channels, brands can effortlessly deliver an exceptional customer experience, regardless of the specific channel utilised by the customer.

With the brewing competition among UK businesses and the nuances in customer behaviour, businesses must find a way to proactively devise initiatives that continually deliver value to their consumers.

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