If there is any product that didn’t exist couple of decades back but is ubiquitous now, it is the mobile phone. Owing to its high adoption rate, mobile phone industry has seen some of the most massive investments ever in advertising and developing retail presence over the past few years. In a study conducted by us, we have tried to decode the mobile phone shopper through a series of qualitative in-depth interviews.
Method: Over a week, we conducted pre and post interviews of mobile phone shoppers and tried to understand their decision making. We spoke to around 215 respondents shopping at 12 leading mobile phone stores in New Delhi. The stores contain an appropriate mix of all possible formats – Brand Owned, Multi brand mobile stores and, large format retail stores.
Few key insights are presented below-
#1 Shoppers use price as a filter but are equally likely to up-trade/down-trade
To understand the nature of price-planning, we compared the planned price range of mobile phone shoppers with the final purchase they made in store:
- 80% of Shoppers considering phones above 10K
Certainly, the selection of market, outlet, and timing of activity had a very big role to play. However, we clearly saw the popularity of smart phones (especially in the range of 15-25 K)
- 73% of mobile phone shoppers adhered to planned pricing
Pricing came out as one of the most important filter. Most of the mobile phone shoppers tended to buy within the planned price range only.
- Shoppers are equally likely to up-trade/down-trade
Of the 26% shoppers who did not stick to the initial price plan, nearly half of them chose a phone of higher value and the remaining half actually went for a phone priced lower than what they had planned.
#2 Features that are used as filters are NOT the ones you should talk about in store
To get an overview of key features of product that influence shopper decision, we compared the importance of features, as ranked by shoppers, before and after they purchased a phone. Key findings:
- Clear separation of hygiene and winning factors
Factor such as Brand and operating system received top mention before shoppers actually purchased a phone. After purchasing the phone, they talked mostly about the hardware related features only.
- Top 3 features identified
Screen size, looks, and Camera quality were the top 3 features mentioned by mobile phone shoppers. Clearly they should form a part of selling pitch inside the store. Also, it will be interesting to explore how the rankings change over the lifetime of product.
#3 Being present in shopper’s consideration set is absolutely necessary, but not sufficient
Our study revealed the nature and extent of planning in the shopping consideration in comparison with actual purchase. We realized that-
- 95% of purchase is from within Consideration Set
This finding stresses the importance of being present in consideration set. However, it needs further exploration on sources that influence consideration set.
- 70% of shoppers have consideration set at phone model level
Clearly shows that shoppers have done their homework and have made their mind about their preferred phone models
- Over 40 % of Mobile Phone Shoppers have more than one product in consideration set
Shows the respect for in-store assistance Shoppers have. Though they choose from their consideration set, the decision is usually based on the information gained in-store. This insight furthers the belief that having a strong in-store selling presence is indispensable.