Multi-Platform Engagement

How Does Multi-Channel Engagement Affect Purchase Behavior?


Using data supplied by the online grocer, Peapod, the Medill Spiegel Research Center analyzed how customers’ adoptions of mobile shopping affected their subsequent purchase behavior.


At the beginning of 2014, nearly two-thirds of American adults had a smart phone. Nearly 80 percent have a desktop or laptop, and more than 40 percent have a tablet computer. What do all these devices mean for brands? And what is the financial impact of a consumer’s engaging with a brand across multiple devices?

Spiegel Insight Proof Action Items for Marketers

Mobile and multi-device engagement grows order sizes.

We found that orders prepared on three device types (mobile, tablet and desktop) were 5 percent larger than those prepared on desktop only.
Facilitate multi-device engagement by making engagement seamless across devices, and consider which platforms are best for the customer, based on their user experience. For low purchasers, encourage them to use a new channel (maybe a mobile one).

Mobile decreases time-to-next-purchase.

Time-to-next-order was 18 percent shorter on mobile orders compared with orders composed on desktop-only.
Test customer requested reminders via mobile as a way to enable them to order products, especially frequently used products.

Mobile shopping grows lifetime value of a customer.

By decreasing time-to-next order and increasing grocery order sizes the lifetime value of a customer grows, giving retailers the mobile ROI for developing a mobile app and multi-device convenience.

Build apps that help customers develop a new use of mobile shopping by making it easier to be a customer because of the mobile app.

Consumers are more likely to use mobile devices for routine/habitual purchase, and more likely to use desktop computers for purchases that require research or consideration.

Routinely purchased or “habitual” items like fruit, vegetables, baby food and formula require little to no research and are easily re-purchased on a mobile device. Stuffing mix, body lotion and light bulbs are some of the least mobile-shopped products.

  • Test offering “habitual” products/messages in mobile and compare to other media.
  • Test offering “complex” products in other media (e.g. website, etc).

How Screen Size Impacts Purchasing

Customers prefer to make certain purchases on mobile devices and other purchases on computers. Research Director Ed Malthouse discusses the key findings of the Spiegel multi-platform engagement study.

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