Digital Channels for Mobile Shoppers

When was the last time you shopped off of Amazon? Or became inspired to purchase something through Instagram? Many of us, especially Millennials use our cellular device to shop or look at products rather than going to the store due to the simplicity of finding what you want whenever you want. 62% of smartphone users have made a purchase online using their mobile device in the last 6 months. Even larger, 80% of shoppers used a mobile phone instead of going to the physical store to look at product reviews or compare prices.

MicroD recently wrote about where, geographically, the most popular places to online shop are, but wouldn’t you want to know WHAT those online sources are? As Millennials and Gen Z’ers are overtaking the digital shopping industry, it is important to understand what digital channels mobile shoppers are using. MicroD is here to guide you through those channels!

Social Media:

The “hub” of where many young shoppers get their first glance of something that interests them. Let’s take a quick flashback to when Pinterest, Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram took over the world. Yet, one thing was missing: Users couldn’t buy any items they saw. Flashforward? You got it. Social Media enthusiasts can now shop with a click of their screen- or maybe 2.

In early February, Pinterest introduced Shop the Look which allows users to click on the image they want and if it is not available, similar options will be shown. Facebook’s “buy button” creates an immediate way to receive a product straight from the advertisement.

Snapchat has 3 advertisement platforms that engage enjoyers to invest in its brand. The 1st is Snap Ads that begins with a 10-second video and then includes the option of adding an interactive element from blogs, app installments or a website, all within one swipe. The 2nd is Snap Geofilters – the most popular – where at specific locations geofilters become available for snapchatters to see and use. Lastly, the newest invention, Sponsored Lenses allows you to actively engage with the advertisements rather than just being impressed.

The last channel of Social Media, Instagram is the hottest platform used. With the majority of Millennials and Gen Z’s having and using Instagram, it only makes sense that this is where they see most of the items they want.

Companies such as Curalate have allowed Instagrammers to purchase what they love with a Link2Buy option available in the bio.


Amazon. Etsy. Google.

Amazon has been a dominator in online shopping for a while now. It has everything you could think of. With its mobile-friendliness, easy computer access, and quick delivery, Amazon is THE go-to for all ages. Over 55% of product searches now start on Amazon.

Etsy is the new, trendy, vintage digital channel that at some point all Millennials view. Etsy describes Millennials. And they love it. Want something artsy or creative? Etsy is the one for you!

And finally, Google. Google is the notorious web page that pops up right when you open your computer. On the mobile, Google recently introduced Style Ideas. After searching a product you are interested in, at the bottom of the page is Style Ideas which match your product with other items. Not only does this influence shoppers to continue to shop, but it explores their interest and creates more variation.


The email has existed much longer than any other channel discussed above. Even with email being 40 years old, 73% of Millennials prefer communication from businesses via email. Why? Because email is where they receive discounts, business updates, and information. Email is the pre-front for where mobile shopping occurs.

Email is the pre-storefront for where mobile shopping occurs. More recently, however, an email start-up called Rebel wants to create an email shopping platform where shoppers can buy items right from their email. Everyone uses email. “Email generates 11 times the revenue of every social media network combine.” It only makes sense then that email becomes the new and emerging digital channel for mobile shoppers.

It’s safe to say that m-commerce is exponentially rising. In Q4 of 2016, mobile transactions consisted of approximately $23 million, a 45% change from 2015. It’s easy, quick, and immediate. So, next time you want to sell something or want to make a purchase of your own, make sure you know which platforms users want!


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