Mobile Apps Influence Shopping Experience

CNET and the IPG Media Lab recently partnered on a research project to uncover how mobile apps are being used by consumers to make purchase decisions. The research specifically tested the CNET Reviews app to explore opinions, influence and opportunities for both marketers and CNET. The findings are based on aggregated evaluations of thirty-six shoppers at a leading consumer electronics retailer, including pre and post-shopping interviews, in-store observation and physiological stimuli recording methods. Each participant was a well-informed consumer electronics shoppers and existing CNET user.

A full summary of the IPG Lab/CNET Mobile Shopping Media Trial and  final results is available for download.


Mobile apps drive influence at the point of purchase. Consumer electronics shoppers are seeking a high degree of product understanding before committing to a purchase. Online research on sites such as CNET dominates that research process, and visits to a brick-and-mortar location are usually a final step once consumers have created their “short-list” of one or two items. The research showed that mobile apps present a complementaryopportunity to inform, educate and influence consumers directly at the point of purchase, helping to solidify the final purchase decision.

Credible product information boosts buyers’ confidence while instore by decreasing shopping stress and making shopping more fun. The CNET reviews app made shopping less stressful and more fun by providing helpful and easy to use product information and reviews directly at the point of purchase. When using the app in-store, shoppers felt “smarter” about their potential purchases, which, in some cases, lead to increased spending. Participants were likely to use the CNET app the next time they shopped.


Align marketing strategy to consumers’ information needs by device. Online and mobile content are the two most influential drivers of pre-purchase information. Marketers need to use a complementary strategy forboth, based on how buyers consume product information. Online is primarily used to formulate their shorts lists of what to buy and mobile presents an opportunity to intersect buyers in-store and drive the final purchase decision.

Shoppers’ needs drive the content experience. Insight about how shoppers use content both online and in-store informs how content needs to be presented in order to be more relevant and useful to them. Future versions of the CNET app will be based on ongoing research and insights. CNET’s continued product innovation is based on consumer insights and analysis gleaned from its nearly 36 million monthly users¹.

Source: comScore, U.S. Only, November 2010.

For information about participating in a media trial, please contact:
Jaime Steiner, IPG Lab Marketing Director
[email protected] | 323.930.3504