Retailers should target mobile apps to parents

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Retailers making plans for mobile applications and texting coupons should know that new research shows parents with children under 18 are more likely than other adults to use their mobile devices to shop, find coupons and locate stores.

That’s the news from a poll of 2,262 adults by Placecast.com, an online research site.

“As brand marketers grow more aware of ‘Parent Power’ on mobile, they can tailor programs to meet their interests and needs,” says 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.”

In fact, parents use all kinds of digital commerce – mobile and online –more frequently than adults without children.

Twenty-seven percent of parents made an online purchase via their smartphone in the past year as compared to 17 percent of adults without children. The survey also found that parents are three times more likely to make a purchase due to a text message from a retailer. Parents are twice as likely to check-in to a location-based social network using their phones, when compared to non-parents.

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 these areas, parents reported a greater rate of use on their phones within the past year than adults without children.

”Any parent can confirm how having a child changes your behavior with technology and shopping,” says Kathryn Koegel, chief of insights for Primary Impact Consulting, which worked with Placecast and Harris Interactive to develop the poll. “You go from being able to check your computer as often as necessary to a constantly on-the-go lifestyle where mobile computing becomes essential and a critical timesaver. Parents in playgrounds are shopping for a variety of goods – and most significant for retailers, they are using their phones for retail activities in stores.  They are the most likely demographic sector to have purchased an item on their phone in a store. This is an amazing opportunity and challenge for retailers to drive loyalty rather than send people to a competitor.”