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Survey: Parents embrace mobile shopping, marketing and couponing

BY Katherine Boccaccio

San Francisco — A survey released Thursday by Placecast found that U.S. parents are more likely to use their mobile phones for shopping-related activities compared to those without children under 18 years old in their household.

In fact, the Alert Shopper III poll, which was commissioned by Placecast and conducted by Harris Interactive, showed that parents were more active than non-parents across all aspects of digital commerce (mobile and online) – from making purchases via mobile phones to receiving text and email alerts, and taking action on them.

Twenty-seven percent of parents made an online purchase via their smartphone in the past year as compared to 17% of non-parents. The survey also found that parents are three times more likely than non-parents to make a purchase due to a text message from a retailer (9% of parents, versus 3% of non-parents). Parents are twice as likely to check-in to a location-based social network using their phones, when compared with non-parents (11% versus 5%).

The survey revealed that over half of the parents surveyed own smartphones, compared to just over a third of non-parents (52% versus 35%). Parents have come to rely on their mobile phones to make their lives easier – whether that means using the GPS on their phones to find a retailer, receiving text alerts from merchants, making an online purchase using their phones, or redeeming an offer from a daily deals company like Groupon. In all of these areas, parents reported a greater rate of use on their phones within the past year, when compared to non-parents. The data also shows that parents are twice as likely to use their phone’s GPS to find a store as non-parents are, and also twice as likely to download an app from their favorite merchants (40% versus 22%).

It was also found that parents actively sought out promotions and discounts more this year than in the past year compared to non-parents; 7% of the non-parents signed up to receive text alerts from retailers, compared to double that number (14%) of parents who said they signed up for text alerts.

“As brand marketers grow more aware of ‘Parent Power’ on mobile, they can tailor programs to meet their interests and needs,” said Placecast CEO Alistair Goodman. “In terms of m-commerce, parents are showing that they are early adopters. Brands that know how to connect with tech-savvy parents are going to see greater ROI in this back-to-school season.”

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