From Road Tripping to Clicking

Road Trip for Clothes

I grew up in a small town in Northern Wisconsin where my options were very limited when it came time for school shopping. Walmart, Maurices and Glik’s were the only available options. My town also had extremely slow Internet, considering we lived in the middle of nowhere. Therefore, every September, my mom would have to drive my siblings and I four hours away so that we could shop at the Mall of America in Bloomington, MN. (Yes, we had to go to a completely different state to buy clothes.) However, with the improvement of Internet access, small town folks now have endless shopping options from the comfort of their own home.

14556796_10211086524063997_1827987019703596993_o.jpgPhoto: My hometown (Minocqua, WI)

Fast Forward…

As I wait for my next class to start, I find myself scrolling through the ‘What’s New’ page on my Shopbop app. I quickly add several items to my shopping basket and checkout with one simple press of a button. The process was so quick due to the fact that I had all of my credit card information saved in my ‘wallet.’ Therefore, I barely had time to think about how much money I just spent on items that I wanted but didn’t exactly need. I quickly realize how convenient and time friendly shopping has become since I was a little girl.


Drivers of Mobile Purchases

So what exactly is driving adoption of these mobile purchases? According to an article written by The Drum, there are three main factors which include:

  • Increased adoption of smartphones and tablets worldwide
  • Improvements of mobile internet access through wireless data and WiFi services
  • Growth of mobile advertising

These three aforementioned drivers allow consumers to research and purchase products and services on mobile devices, wherever and whenever they want. This holds true for my shopping experience on the Shopbop app.

Consumers Buying on Mobile More Than Ever

Shopping via mobile websites and apps is starting to become more and more prevalent among consumers. According to a new Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) survey, three-quarters of smartphone and tablet users have purchased a product or service on their devices. Mobile ads and social media can trigger interest in buying these products and services and can help with product discovery.

60% of mobile purchasers discover products and services to buy on social platforms.

For example, I often come across sponsored Facebook ads of companies and brands that I am unfamiliar with. However, if I like the items or products featured in the photos then I will go to the company’s actual website. There, I peruse the page looking for additional items that I may be interested in. I discover many companies through this process.


Mobile Wallets

Mobile wallet users are more engaged in mobile purchases due to the added convenience and ease of purchase; and therefore, purchase more frequently on mobile than the average mobile shopper.

Although, Business Insider reports that nearly half of millennials have used a mobile wallet, most consumers continue to remain loyal to traditional payment methods and are wary of using a mobile wallet. As a result, social media ‘buy’ buttons are also not being used. In May, Twitter killed its buy button and transferred members of its commerce team to other divisions. Pinterest, on the other hand, has been a little more successful. While mobile wallets and ‘buy’ buttons may be slow to take off, brands need to continue attracting these early adopters in order to continue driving the growth of mobile purchases.

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Are you a mobile wallet user?



  1. alinacasari · ·

    Awesome post! I love having my mobile wallet as I find it super handy for quick purchases. Earlier today I was contemplating buying new tennis shoes so I searched for a pair, found some I liked and had them ordered within a couple of clicks. I have to admit that if it were not for the online shopping feature I would have never purchased those shoes. In addition, mobile ads do make a huge difference for me as well. A couple of months ago I searched for something on Nordstrom and then repeatedly saw ads for that product and others similar to it, until I eventually caved and bought it. I’m someone who always clicks sponsored ads if I like the main picture (Clearly, I’m a total sucker when it comes to online shopping).

    I do think that having a mobile wallet will become more popular in the future. While I like to have both a physical and mobile wallet, I will say that I do make more impulsive decisions when I don’t have to physically swipe or enter in my credit card information. Based on that, I completely agree that brands should be using ‘buy’ buttons!

  2. Nice post! I confess that I’m not a mobile wallet user, but I do appreciate how much easier online shopping has become, even from a decade ago.

  3. daniellep2153 · ·

    Great Post! I also find myself using more and more online sites and apps to buy clothes and other items. It has definitely made life more convenient, but for some people, this could become an expensive habit. Personally, I’m an impulse buyer and tend to buy things spontaneously, especially when using these apps. This is the main reason why I haven’t set up my mobile wallet and have deleted most of my shopping apps. I love that these make shopping easy and allow me to bring variety into my wardrobe, but I tend to pay less attention to my finances when I use them. Thanks for the awesome post!

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