Mobile & Video Influencing Apparel Purchases

Allison Howen
by Allison Howen 20 Aug, 2012

A new Google study reveals that mobile and video are the keys to success for apparel merchants.

The study found that many apparel consumers are shopping on mobile devices and using online videos as tools in their purchasing decisions. In fact, 4 in 10 shoppers visit a store online or in-person as a direct result of watching a video online, while more than 1 in 5 apparel consumers are using their tablets or mobile devices for shopping on a daily basis.

An increasingly number of consumers are also using mobile at home. According to the study, 69 percent of consumers shop on their phone or tablet while at home, proving that if your website isn't optimized for mobile yet, you are likely missing out on valuable traffic. Another 28 percent shop on their mobile device while waiting in line, 31 percent do so in a store and 27 percent do so while at work.

However, it is important for businesses to know how consumers are leveraging these devices for online shopping. The study found that 56 percent of people who shop on their mobile devices do so to compare prices and look for promotions, 42 percent do so to read reviews, 38 percent use their devices to search inventory, 16 percent scan bar codes while shopping in stores and 13 percent leverage their mobile device to contact a retailer.

The study also emphasizes the importance of videos, which according to Google's Blog, "has now filled the role as the virtual fitting room, enabling shoppers to hear personal opinions and reviews, and see the product in motion." 

According to the study, nearly 1 in 3 shoppers use YouTube to shop for apparel, which doesn't make it a surprise that video ads top traditional media in encouraging purchases. For example, 34 percent of apparel shoppers are more likely to make a purchase after viewing an online video ad, compared to 16 percent who will do so after watching a TV ad.

It is also important to note that digital shoppers are valuable customers, because not only do these consumers typically spend more on purchases, but they also make purchases more frequently. The study reveals that 1 in 4 mobile researchers purchased apparel more than six times in the past six months, while 28 percent of video researchers spent more than $500 on apparel in the past six months. Comparatively, only 16 percent of non-mobile researchers purchased apparel more than six times within the last six months, while only 2 percent of non-video researchers spent more than $500 on apparel in the same time frame.

Merchants with millennials as a target audience should especially rev up their video strategies, because this age group is twice as likely to rely on videos to make purchasing decisions - particularly YouTube videos. In addition, Google expects to see more shopping reviews coming to YouTube - currently the site has nearly 600,000 shopping videos, with more than 35,000 of those videos being uploaded within the last month.