January 10, 2012, 2:13 PM

Smartphone owners don’t want to be bothered

Most would prefer no promotional messages sent to their devices, a survey finds.

Lead Photo

Many consumers prefer not to receive promotional messages via their smartphones, a survey finds.

Retailers pondering an e-mail or text message blast, in-app advertising, mobile social media messages, or reminders to update apps for their smartphone-owning customers should understand that, according to one survey, most of these customers do not want promotional messages sent to their devices.

A majority, 55.2%, of 2,003 U.S. mobile phone owners indicate they neither “liked” nor “loved” receiving promotional messages on their phones, finds a survey from mBlox, a mobile commerce technology provider. Only 15.4% say they did. Almost one-third, 29.3%, expresses neither an affinity nor a dislike for the messages. The figures do not add up to 100% due to rounding.

But, when broken down by age groups, the study finds younger adults more receptive. Among those 18 to 34 years old, 49.3% liked the messages and 27% loved them. But, as age increases, opinions change. Among those 35 to 54, 19.2% liked the messages and 12.4% loved them.

That favorable attitude shrunk more for those 55 and older. Only 11.5% of them liked receiving the messages and 5.1% loved getting them.

Despite these numbers, retailers should not be discouraged, says Michele Turner, mBlox chief marketing officer. “We’re seeing more customers who want to combine in-store shopping with purchasing from their phones while they are on the go,” Turner says. “The way in which shopping habits are evolving indicates that how brands interact with their customers has never been so important.”

Restaurateurs and clothing stores have the best chance of finding a receptive consumer via a promotional message to smartphones with 45.3% of smartphone-toting consumers interested in offers from restaurants and 14.2% in offers from clothing (Read the latest apparel news http://ecommerce-news.internetretailer.com/retailing/apparel) stores.

The survey also found that following the holidays 17.8% of respondents intended to use their mobile phone to either buy directly via the phone or to use the phone as a shopping assistant to make online or in-store purchases.

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