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Houston, Seattle-Tacoma US's Most "Mobile Savvy" Cities

Marketers who use geotargeting, take note. Houston and Settle-Tacoma are the US's most "mobile savvy cities," according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and its Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence. IAB in partnership with Prosper Mobile Insights, have unveiled their second "Mobile Shoppers" study, and Houston claims the top spot for the second year running.

The rankings were determined by reviewing mobile usage patterns and frequency of usage among US consumers in major cities. For research and survey purposes, "mobile shopping" included both completing purchases via a phone or tablet, as well as using phones or tablets to research or shop for products that were later purchased in physical retail locations or online.

Houston's #1 ranking is closely followed by Seattle-Tacoma, which rocketed to the second spot from #10 in 2011, followed by San Francisco, which is new to the top ten list. Other notable changes: Boston makes its debut at #9, while New York and Atlanta each saw slight declines. Los Angeles and Chicago held steady compared to 2011.

The complete index is:
1. Houston
2. Seattle-Tacoma
3. San Francisco
4. Los Angeles
5. New York City
6. Atlanta
7. Chicago
8. Dallas-Ft. Worth
9. Boston
10. Philadelphia
11. Washington, D.C.
12. Detroit
13. Tampa-St. Petersburg
14. Phoenix
15. Minneapolis-St. Paul

"Determining which cities are more receptive to mobile can be a critical component in driving successful campaigns that reach audiences in the palms of their hands," said Pam Goodfellow, Consumer Insights Director, Prosper Mobile Insights. "Whether planning for a last-minute holiday push or looking to mobile platforms for other advertising opportunities, this sort of regional intelligence can make or break a marketer's efforts."

Among other findings:

  • More than 80% of smartphone owners have accessed retailer websites or apps on their devices.
  • 68% of Americans owned a smart mobile device (smartphone, tablet, or eReader) in 2012, up strongly from 57% in 2011.
  • Nearly half of US consumers say they have a QR code (barcode) reader app on their mobile devices.
  • Smartphone shoppers are evenly split between males and females and tend to be younger than users who are desktop-based retail shoppers.
  • Over half of smartphone owners, and nearly 30% of tablet owners, have used their devices in a store in the past three months.


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