Wednesday, December 7, 2011
IAB Reveals First-Ever List of Top Mobile Shopping Savvy U.S. Cities

Houston, New York & Atlanta Take the Lead, San Francisco/Bay Area Misses the Top 10 Cut

In Time for the Holidays: ‘Mobile Shoppers’ Study Shows How Ubiquitous Data Spawns Savvier Consumers

NEW YORK, NY (December 7, 2011) — Understanding the crucial role of mobile in marketers’ holiday strategies, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and its Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence released “Mobile Shoppers,” a new report that looks at how consumers’ access to mobile data will inevitably influence both what they buy and where they buy it. In addition, the study unveils the first-ever ranking of the most mobile shopping savvy cities in the U.S.

When it comes to being adept, able and prone to shop on mobile devices, “Space City” consumers nabbed Houston the highest spot on the list, followed by New York and Atlanta. Perhaps surprising to those who think of San Francisco as the hub of technology on-the-go, the Bay Area did not break into the top 10, landing instead at 11th place in the rankings.

The complete “2011 IAB U.S. Mobile Shopping Savvy Cities Index” is as follows:

  1. Houston
  2. New York
  3. Atlanta
  4. Los Angeles
  5. Dallas/Ft. Worth
  6. Tampa/St. Petersburg
  7. Chicago
  8. Philadelphia
  1. Washington, D.C.
  2. Seattle/Tacoma
  3. San Francisco/Bay Area
  4. Boston
  5. Detroit
  6. Minneapolis/St. Paul
  7. Phoenix

The rankings were determined by looking at the mobile shopping audience today along with the distribution of mobile-savvy shoppers across major U.S. cities. The research used to determine the list refers to “mobile shopping” to mean both completing purchases via a phone or tablet and using a phone or tablet to research or shop for products that are later purchased in physical retail locations or online.

“Early data this holiday season already indicated the growing importance of mobile as a shopping tool,” said Joe Laszlo, Deputy Director, IAB Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence. “Identifying mobile shoppers and delivering relevant messages to consumers as they are in shopping mode represents a key opportunity for marketers. That’s why we took this study one step further – pinpointing cities where advertisers would need to quickly embrace mobile strategies as a part of their overall plans to attract shoppers, both during the holiday season and throughout the year.”

Some of the other findings explored in this report include:

  • Mobile shoppers are younger and have higher incomes than the average mobile user
  • Ten percent of U.S. mobile users use their mobiles for comparing prices
  • Almost 20 percent of U.S. mobile users use their phones to text or call family or friends about a product while in a store

To download the entire “Mobile Shoppers” study, please visit

In creating the “2011 IAB U.S. Mobile Shopping Savvy Cities Index,” IAB Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence leveraged BIGinsight’s Simultaneous Media Survey (SIMM), a biannual survey of over 20,000 consumers, conducted in June 2011, a large enough sample to yield data on mobile usage for each of the top 15 U.S. DMAs. The IAB examined four key data points: ownership of a mobile device (primarily smartphones or tablets), propensity to be influenced by mobile coupons, ownership of a mobile retail app on a handset or tablet, and ownership of a mobile social media app. For each of these data points, the IAB constructed an index for each DMA relative to the U.S. national average. The IAB then combined them into a single metric, weighting device ownership most heavily, followed by coupon influence and retail app ownership. Social media apps, as conduits for sharing shopping and other information, received a relatively lower weighting.

About the IAB Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence
The IAB Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence, an independently funded and staffed unit inside the IAB, is charged with driving the growth of the mobile marketing, advertising and media marketplace.

The Mobile Center devotes resources to market and consumer research, mobile advertising case studies, executive training and education, supply chain standardization, creative showcases and best practice identification in the burgeoning field of mobile media and marketing. Our agenda will focus on building profitable revenue growth for companies engaged in mobile marketing, communications and advertising, and helping publishers, marketers and agency professionals understand and leverage interactive tools and technologies in order to reach and influence the consumer. For more information or to find out how to join, please visit

About the IAB
The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is comprised of more than 500 leading media and technology companies that are responsible for selling 86% of online advertising in the United States. On behalf of its members, the IAB is dedicated to the growth of the interactive advertising marketplace, of interactive’s share of total marketing spend, and of its members’ share of total marketing spend. The IAB educates marketers, agencies, media companies and the wider business community about the value of interactive advertising. Working with its member companies, the IAB evaluates and recommends standards and practices and fields critical research on interactive advertising. Founded in 1996, the IAB is headquartered in New York City with a Public Policy office in Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit

IAB Media Contact
Laura Goldberg
[email protected]