Survey: Smartphone Users Prefer Print Ads for Back to School Shopping

Placed logoPlaced recently released data on back to school shopping. They were derived from a combination of actual store visits and smartphone user survey information. In the report there were two things of greatest interest to me.

The first was that these smartphone owners preferred to receive back-to-school promotions in print vs electronic form. Print ads and then direct mail were the top two answers, followed by email and then web. Interestingly, social media was last.

print preferred

It’s not clear whether mobile (email, SMS, ads) was a separate choice and ranked low or wasn’t offered as an option. However survey respondents indicated they’d be using their smartphones as an integral part of back to school shopping.

The main use cases were: search for deals, compare prices in stores, access websites/apps and look for store locations. All this is very consistent with other surveys that show essentially the same mobile shopping activities.

One that’s also often mentioned and doesn’t appear here (because it probably wasn’t a choice) is “product reviews.” One could infer however that “get product information” suggests reviews as well.

smartphones and back to school shoping

Once again the most interesting thing about these findings is that among this smartphone user population print and direct mail were the preferred way to receive back-to-school ads/offers. Another perspective is that these respondents preferred “push” to “pull” for back-to-school shopping.

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2 Responses to “Survey: Smartphone Users Prefer Print Ads for Back to School Shopping”

  1. Street Fight Daily: Yelp CEO Takes Shot At Google, A Hard Sell Gone South | Street Fight says at

    […] Users Prefer Print Ads for Back to School Shopping (Screenwerk) A recent study by Placed found that smartphone owners preferred to receive back-to-school […]

  2. Jon Davey says at

    Interesting to know how many of those who are in a store checking prices build in the additional fuel costs & time of going elsewhere into their buying decision or does $0.50 cheaper cause a dash for the nearest exit?

  3. Greg Sterling says at

    People aren’t going to leave a store for a price difference that small. And probably most people don’t factor fuel costs into their price calculation — though some do I would imagine. In a 2012 IAB study the majority (2/3) who used their smartphones in stores wound up buying the product.

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