57% of millennials prefer browser-based shopping over apps

Fifty-seven percent of millennials are more inclined to make a mobile purchase through a browser over an app, according to an Instart Logic survey on mobile shopping. The "Feet on the Street" survey interviewed millennial shoppers in downtown San Francisco's Union Square.

"These survey results very clearly indicate that the mobile customer experience will greatly influence the success or failure of retail brands with millennials," said Manav Mital, CEO, Instart Logic. "Millennials insist on fast performance on every device and wireless connection they choose. It makes the difference between bounce and buy. There is still enough time left for retailers to evaluate and install new Web delivery technology and ensure the performance that gets the millennial customer."

It seems visual information and image quality also directly impact shoppers' research and decisions to purchase, so much so that 55 percent of those surveyed said they could not shop without visuals on a mobile device.

The results showed some gender differences in that females demanded more visuals than males. While 72 percent of females relied most heavily on photos and images, compared with just 50 percent of males, 38 percent of men said they couldn't live without product descriptions and reviews, versus just 17 percent of women.

Speed also plays a big role in mobile shopping for millennials. Failure of photos to load quickly was the most frequently cited reason for abandoning a mobile shopping site. One in five shoppers would only wait two seconds for a mobile shopping site to load and 68 percent would wait no longer than five seconds.

Where are most millennials conducting their wireless shopping? Overall, two-thirds of respondents preferred to conduct mobile shopping at home. Seventy-one percent of women shop on mobile when at home or at work, while 41 percent of men preferred shopping while on the go—in transit, in a store or waiting in line.

But while mobile is playing a big role in millennial shopping, the demographic is still frequenting physical stores. In fact, millennials are playing an increasingly larger role in the growing foot traffic, up 14 percent, in dollar stores. And as a group still wedded to the mall experience, department stores are doing their best to attract millennials. For example, Sears (NASDAQ:SHLD) recently partnered with Hearst Brand Development to launch the Seventeen collection. And Nordstrom (NYSE:JWN) added video display screens showcasing merchandise on social shopping site Wanelo to its stores.

For more:
-See this Instart Logic press release

Related stories:
The convergence of social media and online retail is about relationships
Joyus is betting that video retail will be the next big thing
Macy's tests Facebook video ads
Lowe's reveals Innovations Labs, sci-fi Holoroom
Sephora goes 3D with augmented reality mirror