Seventy-three percent of French consumers prefer to use a laptop for online purchases compared to 15 percent who prefer to use a mobile app. However, mobile penetration in France has doubled since 2011 from 25 to 48 percent and is expected to grow another 30 percent in the next three years. Amongst consumers mobile devices are popular tools to research products.
63% of French consumers use mobile devices to find product information and 58% use them to compare prices. These actions and the additional actions shown in the above chart are typically carried out on a brand site rather than a brand app. This suggests that brands should be focusing on creating a mobile optimized site, rather than an app.
In France, sixteen percent more brands investing in mobile site than mobile app. When taking a closer look at the data however, the numbers tell a different story.
16 percent of Personal Care Index brands have a mobile optimized site and 17 percent of brands have a mobile app, exclusively. Given the behavior of French consumers on mobile devices, this data highlights an untapped space in the digital arena for personal care brands. Brands have failed to develop informative brand content and rather have created apps geared towards entertainment (i.e. Colgate’s photo album app and Lynx’s astronaut game). These apps also lack integration and engagement across mobile devices, with only two apps being featured in the android store and four apps receiving reviews and ratings in the iTunes store.
There is a disconnect between the mobile content Personal Care brands are producing and what the French consumer needs. Aside from the lack of presence in the mobile sector, more brands are investing solely in mobile apps when less than a fifth of French consumers purchase via app. This suggests that brands are failing to understand the consumer need and are getting caught up in the idea that an app equates to mobile innovation, regardless of its content. If brands begin small, by starting to build mobile optimized sites then they can better cater to the French consumer and help guide the path to purchase through brand awareness and product education.