The intersection of mobile marketing and shopper marketing, known as mobile shopper marketing, is a rapidly evolving area. We formally define mobile shopper marketing as the planning and execution of all mobile-based marketing activities that influence a shopper along and beyond the path-to-purchase: from the initial shopping trigger, to the purchase, consumption, repurchase, and recommendation stages. However, not much is known about mobile shopper marketing. We plug this gap by first discussing mobile shopper marketing and its scope in depth and then presenting a process model that connects the mobile shopping journey with four key entities, i.e., shopper, employee, organization, and mobile technology. For each of these themes, we identify the challenges that offer future research opportunities.
Shoppers' use of mobile, which typically refers to a mobile device, medium, technology, or channel, is growing at a tremendous pace. More than four-fifths of U.S. shoppers use a mobile device to shop even within a store (Google M/A/R/C Study 2013). Mobile adoption is truly global. Mobile devices are so ubiquitous that there are more people with mobile devices than there are with toothbrushes in the world (MMA Asia 2011). Mobile broadband is more pervasive than fixed broadband around the world and much of the surge in mobile usage emanates from emerging markets like China and India, which together account for roughly one-third of mobile handsets worldwide (mobiforge.com). In response to these trends, marketers are increasingly using mobile to meet the demands of mobile shoppers. Firms' spending on mobile is now about one-fourth of all of their digital spending, and mobile will constitute about 22% of digital revenues in 2015 (eMarketer 2015). Over three-fourths of retailers plan to enhance their mobile marketing spending from 2015 onward (eMarketer 2015). While the use of mobile in marketing practice is growing dramatically, research on this topic is evolving gradually. Thus far, it has focused on issues such as the scope of mobile marketing (Shankar and Balasubramanian 2009), mobile service delivery (Kleijnen, De Ruyter, and Wetzels 2007), mobile interface usage and usability (Venkatesh, Thong, and Xu 2012), mobile browsing experience (Adipat, Zhang, and Zhou 2011), applications to retailing (Shankar et al. 2010), interfaces for mobile devices (Brasel and Gips 2014), mobile app demand (Garg and Telang 2013), mobile shopping carts (Van Ittersum et al. 2013), mobile advertising and promotions (Andrews et al. 2015; Bart, Stephen, and Sarvary 2014; Fong, Fang, and Luo 2015), and mobile shopping (Wang, Malthouse, and Krishnamurthi 2015). At the same time, shopper marketing is growing by leaps and bounds (Shankar 2011, 2014). Shopper marketing describes the planning and execution of all marketing activities that influence a shopper along and beyond the path-to-purchase (Shankar 2011, 2014). A shopper differs from a consumer in that an individual could purchase for consumption by others (e.g., an adult buying for kids) and that a shopper typically is in a shopping mode rather than consuming mode as is the case with a consumer. Specifically, a shopper is in a setting that facilitates purchase decisions, or is in a mindset to shop for items or products, whereas a consumer could be in any environment facilitating not just purchase but also consumption or disposal.