Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Conference Track

Marketing Research/ Demographics/ Consumer Behavior

Publication Date



This research primarily investigates the relationship between race ethnicity and consumer use of mobile phones in-store to facilitate purchase decisions. Data were collected by a telephone survey of a nationally representative sample of US adults between January 5 and January 8, 2012. The data collection was sponsored by the Pew Foundation and made available for this research. The data were analyzed with the software R and its survey package that allow researchers to incorporate the sampling weights to estimate population statistics, standard errors, and confidence intervals.

The independent variables were demographic variables (race ethnicity, gender, and household income) and behavioral variables (tablet and E-reader ownership index, and social networking service (SNS) and Twitter use index. Results showed that minority (Non-White) adults were significantly more likely than White adults to use their mobile phone in-store to 1.) purchase products with mobile coupons, and 2.) scan barcodes for product information. Univariate analyses showed SNS use and tablet/E-reader ownership were both significantly associated with the instore use of mobile coupons and of mobile phones to scan barcodes for product information. Multivariate analyses showed that only SNS use was associated with instore mobile coupon use. Both univariate and multivariate analyses showed that greater household income was significantly related to a greater mobile coupon use but was not associated with greater likelihood of barcode scans for product information. These results show that minorities are forefront of the use of mobile phones to assist with in-store purchase decisions.

About the Authors

Dr. Johnson teaches courses in integrated marketing and advertising communication at Rowan University. Her primary research interests include consumer use of digital media, Internet marketing, and audio media marketing. She also has a professional background in digital marketing and broadcast communication. Dr. Johnson holds a BS (Communication) from the University of Texas, an MS (Advertising and Public Relations) from Texas Christian University, and a PhD (Communication with an emphasis on digital marketing) from Florida State University.

Dr. Pontes teaches courses at Rowan University in the areas of research methods, services marketing, retailing, and marketing channels. His primary research interests are distance education in higher education and the relationship between health insurance, and family income on health care consumption. His methodological interests are in the analysis of data collected from complex survey designs, and the use of R for data analyses and data visualization. Dr. Pontes holds a BS (Chemistry) from the University of Bombay, an MS (Chemistry) from the Indian Institute of Technology, a Ph.D. (Chemistry) from UC San Diego, and a PhD (Marketing) from the University of Florida.

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