There has been a plethora of research that shows mobile devices are being used more and more by the U.S. consumer. Smartphones and tablets have changed the way we communicate and have fun and, most important for business owners, how consumers shop when online and in-store. A new report from the makers of the Retale app have released data that can help business owners and marketers better understand how different demographics use mobile devices.

Retale interviewed more than 500 millennial adults about their mobile experiences and were able to find key differences between the ways millennial parents, male and female, use their smartphones and tablets.

A key takeaway from the research is that mobile devices are used heavily by consumers shopping in-store. According to the survey respondents, more than four out of five (85 percent) of all millennial parents use smartphones to help them shop at brick-and-mortar retail locations.

When it comes to using mobile devices for in-store shopping, there is only a small variation between men and women. The researchers noted that at 86 percent, moms were slightly more likely "to use their mobile devices than dads (84 percent) to prepare for or help them during shopping trips."

Millennial parents use their smartphones to accomplish the same set of basic tasks, but use them at different frequencies. For example, checking reviews ranked highest for men, but made it only to eighth on the list of things women would use their smartphones for during an in-store visit.

For men, the top five activities were checking product reviews (53 percent); comparing prices (52 percent); finding nearby store locations (50 percent); checking store hours (49 percent); and searching for coupons or deals (49 percent). In contrast, for women, the top five in-store mobile activities were searching for coupons or deals (66 percent); accessing saved coupons (62 percent); comparing prices (62 percent); checking store hours (57 percent); and creating shopping lists (54 percent).

The study also found that deals matter to both male and female consumers, but men were more likely to either not use one a deal while shopping or to not care about deals at all. Among the respondents, only one in 20 moms (5 percent) said they either rarely or never use deals, while nearly one out of five men did (19 percent). Similarly, of those surveyed, 40 percent of millennial moms, compared with 22 percent of millennial dads, said that they never shop without a deal--though there is good reason for marketers to use deals when advertising to either sex because nearly half of both sexes (53 percent of dads and 52 percent of moms) said that they will take advantage of deals on occasion.

Using deals on mobile devices that can be searched and used quickly is good for shoppers who are making last-minute decisions. The study found that four out of five (83 percent) of millennial mom shoppers wait until the day before or the day of or while they are in-store before checking for deals and coupons. The same is true for seven out of 10 (71 percent) dads.

The data strongly suggests that these mobile marketing tactics work. About three of four moms (76 percent) and nearly two out of three dads (64 percent) reported they were likely to make a purchase with a coupon or deal they receive to their smartphone while in or near a retail location. From those who reported being likely to make a purchase, 45 percent of moms and 32 percent of dads said they would be "very likely to make a purchase." Millennial moms are 12 percent more likely to make a purchase when pushed deals in or near a store than dads.

Since yesterday was Father's Day, it's interesting to note the study found that the dads of millennial consumers were likely to get a gift of lower value than the one given to mom. According to the data, "nearly a third of millennials said that they spend more money and time shopping for Mother's Day than for Father's Day, followed by 21 percent who spend more money on mom and more time on dad."

The data from Rebate shows that consumers use their mobile devices extensively when they shop in-store and business owners should try to align their marketing efforts to take advantage of this trend.

For more information about the power of mobile, read this article about mobile marketing and consumer travel.

Published on: Jun 22, 2015
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.