iPhone versus Android: What Your Phone Says About Your Shopping Habits

The phone you carry says a lot about you.  Some might argue that the sparkly sequinned case you have around your phone says even more, but here at InfoScout, we promise to never judge you.  We will, however, leverage our panel of 250K mobile-powered participants to explore the relationship between phone choice and purchase behavior.

We recently attended a conference where a retailer claimed that 80% of their shoppers had iPhones based upon the web traffic they see by mobile device type.   Rather than using website visits as a proxy for in-store visits, we decided to quickly measure the real-world shopping behavior of our consumer panelists.  With the understanding that the average American is 12% more likely to be carrying an Android phone than an iPhone, we were able to determine the following:


Smartphones Preference, Fast Food


It shouldn’t be a surprise that restaurants and grocery stores that cater to more affluent buyers are more likely to see iPhone carriers making purchases.


Smartphones Preference, Grocery


Smartphone Split


We also analyzed the iPhone and Android breakouts in head-to-head comparisons of top stores within a few retailer channels.


Understanding shoppers’ phone preference is just the tip of the iceberg for InfoScout.  In addition to our real-time visibility into purchases across all categories and channels, we collect demographic, psychographic, and survey data to help us build the most comprehensive understanding of US shoppers, their buying behavior, and the motivations driving their actions.


 About our data:

This blog study includes data taken from over 7-million receipt submissions by 150,133 iPhone users and 108,673 Android users of InfoScout’s Shoparoo and Receipt Hog mobile apps. Special thanks to the team at App Annie for helping us normalize the ratio of iPhone-to-Android phone users in our panel to the true census ratios reflected in this study.  To learn more about InfoScout’s data and solutions please visit www.infoscout.co

InfoScout Turning Heads for Effective Big Data Management

We do shopper insights pretty darn well at InfoScout, and our clients love the way our real-time capability gives them visibility into today’s purchase data today. With over 225K active panelists, InfoScout collects data from more than 150K shopping trips daily. That’s about 15X the amount of trips provided by other leading shopper panels, and with our 98% month-over-month panelist retention rate, we’re constantly evolving our practice of managing vast quantities of data.

How do we do it? BriefingsDirect, a B2B-focused podcast, interviewed a few of our folks to learn how we manage so much data so effectively.  Check out a few excerpts below, or Listen to the full podcast or Download the full transcript.

Novel Consumer Retail Behavior Analysis From InfoScout Depends on Big Data Chops from HP Vertica

Transcript of a Briefings Direct podcast on how a consumer research and data analysis firm is gleaning marketing data from customers’ sales receipts.

Dana Gardner: Hello, and welcome to the next edition of the HP Discover Podcast Series. I’m Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions, your host and moderator for this ongoing discussion on IT innovation and how it’s making an impact on people’s lives.

Our next innovation case study interview highlights how InfoScout in San Francisco gleans new levels of accurate insights into retail buyer behavior by collecting data directly from consumers’ sales receipts.

In order to better analyze actual retail behaviors and patterns, InfoScout provides incentives for buyers to share their receipts, but InfoScout is then faced with the daunting task of managing and cleansing that essential data to provide actionable and understandable insights.

We’re here with Tibor Mozes, Senior Vice President of Data Engineering at InfoScout.

We’re also joined today by Jared Schrieber, the Cofounder and CEO at InfoScout, based in San Francisco.

Gardner: Jared, let’s start with you. We don’t often get the option of choosing how the best data comes to us. In your business, you’ve been able to uniquely capture strong data, but you need to treat it a lot to use it and you also need a lot of that data in order to get good trend analysis. So the payback is that you get far better information on essential buyer behaviors, but you need a lot of technology to accomplish that.

Tell us why you wanted to get to this specific kind of data and then your novel way of acquiring it, please.

Schrieber: A quick history lesson is in order. In the market research industry, consumer purchase panels have been around for about 50 years. They started with diaries in people’s homes, where they had to write down exactly every single product that they bought, day-in day-out, in this paper diary and mail it in once a month.

About 20 years ago, with the advent of modems in people’s homes, leading research firms like Nielsen would send a custom barcode scanner into people’s homes and ask them to scan each product they bought and then thumb into the custom scanner the regular price, the sales price, any coupons or deals that they got, and details about the overall shopping trip, and then transfer that electronically. That approach has not changed in the last 20 years.

With the advent of smartphones and mobile apps, we saw a totally new way to capture this information from consumers that would revolutionize how and why somebody would be willing to share their purchase information with a market research company.

Gardner: Interesting. What is it about mobile that is so different from the past, and why does that provide more quality data for your purposes?

Schrieber: There are two reasons in particular. The first is, instead of having consumers scan the barcode of each and every item they purchase and thumb in the pricing details, we’re able to simply have them snap a picture of their shopping receipt. So instead of spending 20 minutes after a grocery shopping trip scanning every item and thumbing in the details, it now takes 15 seconds to simply open the app, snap a picture of the shopping receipt, and be done.

The second reason is why somebody would be willing to participate. Using smartphone apps we can create different experiences for different kinds of people with different reward structures that will incentivize them to do this activity.

For example, our Shoparoo app is a next-generation school fundraiser akin to Box Tops for Education. It allows people to shop anywhere, buy anything, take a picture of their receipt, and then we make an instant donation to their kid’s school every time.

Another app is more of a Tamagotchi game called Receipt Hog, where if you download the app, you have adopted a virtual runt. You feed it pictures of your receipt and it levels-up into a fat and happy hog, earning coins in a piggy bank along the way that you can then cash-out from at the end of the day.

These kinds of experiences are a lot more intrinsically and extrinsically rewarding to the panelists and have allowed us to grow a panel that’s many times larger than the next largest panel ever seen in the world, tracking consumer purchases on a day-in day-out basis.

Gardner: What is it that you can get from these new input approaches and incentivization through an app interface? Can you provide me some sort of measurement of an improved or increased amount of participation rates? How has this worked out?

Schrieber: It’s been phenomenal. In fact, our panel is still growing by leaps and bounds. We now have 200,000 people sharing with us their purchases on a day-in day-out basis. We capture 150,000 shopping trips a day. The next largest panel in America captures just 10,000 shopping trips a day.

In addition to the shopping trip data, we’re capturing geolocation information, Facebook likes and interests from these people, demographic information, and more and more data associated with their mobile device and the email accounts that are connected to it.

Listen to the full podcast or Download the full transcript.

Apple Pay: What’s to Blame for the Slow Adoption?


slow apple pay

At PYMNTS.com Innovation Project 2015, InfoScout shared heavily-anticipated findings from our Apple Pay Adoption Tracker survey.  Why have shoppers been slow to switch from traditional payment methods? What are Apply Pay adopters saying about their experiences? Discover the data that caught the attention of VentureBeat, Business Insider, and others.

Apple Pay Adoption: Improving, But Still A Long Way To Go

85% of iPhone 6 owners in the U.S. haven’t bothered trying Apple Pay, study claims

This Holiday Season’s Hottest Gifts: Ideas For The Last Minute Shopper

Black Friday may seem like ages ago already, but this season’s shopping frenzy is far from over. (At least for those 11th hour-shoppers, that is.) For those of you planning to hit the stores tomorrow in one last mad dash, we’ve got some ideas for you. This holiday season, InfoScout analyzed over 3,500,000 shopping trips across all retailers – both online and offline – made by over 178,000 Americans to bring you this year’s best seller lists.

Electronics dominated holiday shopping once again this year with TV’s and Tablets again leading the pack.  Here are the top sellers heading into Christmas:



65″ Vizio Smart LED HDTV


65″ Vizio Smart LED HDTV ($648 and up)

40″ Samsung LED HDTV ($329 and up)

50″ Emerson LED HDTV ($218 and up)

32″ Samsung LED HDTV ($199 and up)

32″ Emerson LED HDTV ($98 and up)




Screen Shot 2014-12-23 at 3.54.48 PM

Apple iPad Air 2 16GB

Apple iPad Air 2 16GB ($449 and up)

Apple iPad Mini 16GB ($199 and up)

Amazon Fire HD 7″ 8GB ($114 and up)

RCA 10″ Android Tablet ($79 and up)

RCA 7″ Android Tablet ($29 and up) 




In our extensive, real-time coverage of Black Friday shopping, we found that Xbox One outsold the PS4 to win the console holiday battle for the second year in a row.  Sports-related games climbed the list this year owning 3 of the top 6 spots, a jump from just one sports game in the top 5 last year.   Here are the three most popular video game consoles on the market this holiday season:


Screen Shot 2014-12-23 at 3.58.16 PM

Xbox One Assassin’s Creed Unity Bundle

Video Game Consoles

PlayStation 4 500GB Console w/ 4 games ($399 and up)

Xbox One Assassin’s Creed Unity Bundle ($329 and up)

Nintendo Wii U with SuperMario 3D World ($279 and up)





Disney Frozen Snow Glow Elsa Doll

For Girls

Disney Princess Ultimate Doll Collection ($40 and up)

Disney Frozen Snow Glow Elsa Doll ($29 and up)

Disney Maleficent DVD ($19 and up)




Screen Shot 2014-12-23 at 4.03.13 PM

Bouncepro 14ft Trampoline

For Boys

Bouncepro 14ft Trampoline ($159 and up)

Zoomer Dino ($79 and up)

Lego Building Sets – Star Wars Phantom ($19 and up)




For Friends & Family

Screen Shot 2014-12-23 at 4.04.53 PM

Beats By Dre Beats Solo Headphones

Keurig 2.0 K560 Brewer with 48 K-Cup Packs ($149 and up)

Beats By Dre Beats Solo Headphones ($100 and up)

Rachael Ray 15-piece Cookset ($88 and up)

Gift Cards ($25 iTunes, Amazon & Google Play are top sellers)

Dale Earnhardt “The Intimidator” Pocket Knife ($15 and up)

Glade Wax Melts Warmer Starter Pack ($9 and up)

Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate: Lindt truffles and our local favorite, Ghirardelli chocolates





Subscribe to our blog and follow us on Twitter @infoscout to stay abreast of the real-time retail action this holiday season.

Data methodology:
Top sellers are listed by price, not by sales rank. InfoScout analyzed over 3,500,000 shopping trips across all retailers – both online and offline – made by over 178,000 Americans over the holiday season to bring you this year’s best seller lists.   For more information related to our data and panel representation, visit our data page.

Top Selling Items on Record Shattering Cyber Monday

Amidst reports of Black Friday’s slumping sales numbers, this past Monday’s online sales hit a record breaking $2 billion mark, making 2014’s Cyber Monday the biggest online shopping day to date.  This is just one more data point confirming the accelerating trend away from traditional brick-and-mortar retail to online shopping as detailed in our prior post outlining Black Friday’s rapid shift to become Cyber Friday.

Which items contributed to this 24 hour e-commerce frenzy? Here are the top selling products at some of the major online retailers:






Subscribe to our blog and follow us on Twitter @infoscout to stay abreast of the real-time retail action this holiday season.

Data methodology:
This data was collected from the online purchases of InfoScout’s 40,000 panelists who share access to the e-receipts they receive in their email inboxes each day. For more information related to our data and panel representation, visit our data page.

Apple Pay’s Black Friday, By The Numbers

Here at InfoScout, we love data.  And we love mobile technology.  So it shouldn’t surprise anyone that we’ve put on our analytics hats to learn how the hottest new player in mobile payments, Apple Pay, performed in the Super Bowl of shopping: Black Friday.  To do this, we tracked the shopping behavior and opinions of those in our 170,000 household consumer panel who own an iPhone 6 / 6 Plus and shopped at a retail store that accepts Apple Pay this Black Friday weekend.

Despite its hype within the tech community, Apple Pay still has a lot of ground to cover.  Out of all Apple Pay-eligible transactions on Black Friday, the new NFC-powered mobile payment method was used less than 5% of the time. Let’s explore the details behind this number and what the landscape looks like in terms of Apple Pay usage.


According to these real-time shopper surveys data, just over 9% of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus users who shopped on Black Friday have ever tried using Apple Pay at checkout.  Among those who have used Apple Pay, there was a 50-50 chance that they would use it at checkout when shopping at a participating retailer on Black Friday.  To understand the “why” behind this behavior we explored the extent to which the product or experience itself was the culprit.  We asked Apple Pay users what they thought of it as compared to swiping a card, and found overwhelmingly positive reactions to the experience.


If Apple Pay users have had such positive experiences, why did only half of them use Apple Pay when given the chance on Black Friday?  Well, we figured they’d know best… so we asked them.


The biggest piece of the puzzle is simple: they were unaware that the store accepted Apple Pay.  The second-most common reason is that they simply forgot. This isn’t necessarily surprising; the checkout process has become habit for most, and integrating mobile payments into your purchase flow requires change to a very deeply ingrained pattern of behavior.  These two data points highlight Apple’s need to find a way to capture mindshare at checkout, and to remind or inform the user that the purchase could be made with Apple Pay.  Of the two icons currently in use at Apple Pay-accepting stores, only one actually has any Apple branding, and both are fairly subtle and unlikely to grab attention.  If there were a more prominent display, Apple could feasibly increase Apple Pay usage by over 40% – simply by having its user base behave more consistently.



Either of these two icons can be seen at retailers accepting Apple Pay, but only one of them directly refers to Apple Pay.

Taking a step back, however, we see that the biggest opportunity is for Apple Pay to drive adoption among the 90% of iPhone 6 and 6 Plus users who have yet to try it – despite shopping at stores that accept Apple Pay.   InfoScout’s survey of these potential users yielded some interesting results…


A whopping 32% of eligible users haven’t tried Apple Pay because they aren’t familiar with how it works, and 11% simply haven’t heard of it.  That means that nearly half of people who are eligible to use Apple Pay can still be influenced via informational outreach or educational advertising. We’ve already seen that most users who pay with Apple Pay find it to be easier and faster, but now Apple needs to better inform their potential user base of these benefits.  Bonus points to Apple if they can use that same campaign to address any security concerns users may have.

Even with all this data in hand, it is very evident that Apple Pay is still a nascent competitor in the payments industry.  Apple Pay has only been around for 5 weeks, and with over 70 million Apple Pay-capable iPhones expected to sell in Q4 of this year, adoption of Apple Pay may shift drastically as more people upgrade their devices and the positive word-of-mouth from existing users spreads.

We’ll be tracking it all, so stay tuned in to all the action by subscribing via the button above.

Black Friday Top Sellers – Brand Equity Trumps Affordability

While Thanksgiving Day has been gaining steam as a legitimate calendar contender, Black Friday is still widely recognized as retail’s biggest day.  This year’s Friday shoppers brought their brand preferences with them to the stores, and the line defining the weekend’s top performing products shifted away from economy brands and toward trusted items.

Products from companies with lower brand equity, like Emerson and RCA, lost momentum on Black Friday after showing promising early sales indicators on Thanksgiving Day.  Apple, with a brand rating of 9.5/10 and remarkably positive sentiment to its credit, gained a significant share of sales across all retailers.



How did one company manage to get four of its products in the Black Friday top ten?  To what extent can brands with higher equity rely more heavily on customer loyalty than on reduced prices?  Should economy brands consider investing in their image to help offset the need to sell so many items to make up for lower margins?  As is the case with most worthwhile data, more answers yield more questions.  Find out more about how InfoScout’s unique approach to shopper insights makes brands better marketers.

Data methodology:
InfoScout panelists submitted 180k+ receipts over the course of Black Friday. The data includes purchases at all major retailers including Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Costco, Macy’s, JC Penney, Kohl’s, GameStop, RadioShack, and others.  For more information related to our data and panel representation, visit our data page.

Holiday Spending Jumps 29% among Online Shoppers

Forget Cyber Monday, this Thanksgiving weekend online shoppers eschewed packed parking lots, doorbusting brawls and languishing lines to kick-off the holiday shopping season.   Early data from nearly 40,000 Americans* who share their e-commerce shopping activity with InfoScout indicates that online sales are up 29% from Thanksgiving and Black Friday one year ago.


Which online retailers are leading the pack?  Among the four largest sites we’re tracking in real-time this weekend, Amazon has a clear lead with nearly 41% share – a slight gain from last year.   While Walmart’s overall e-commerce sales appear to be up from a year ago, the brick-and-mortar giant’s share of cyber sales is slightly down versus is its biggest online competitors.  By contrast, BestBuy is rapidly gaining virtual ground thanks to a well executed Cyber Savings campaign that includes free shipping on orders of $35 or more.  Meanwhile, eBay continues its “Countdown to Cyber Monday” campaign which is effectively giving their competitors a three-day head-start in the race for consumers’ limited dollars this holiday season.


With overall online sales up 29% this Black Thursday & Friday, it begs the question of whether online shoppers are going online earlier this year, or whether they are shifting their spend from physical retail to e-commerce.  By studying both the online and offline purchases reported by Amazon’s holiday shoppers, InfoScout found that their Black Thursday & Friday spend in stores dropped 38% year-over-year to $153.43.  Meanwhile, their average spend at Amazon.com grew 67% to $83.27.  If this trend continues, Amazon’s loyal shoppers will spend more on Amazon.com next Black Friday than they will in all brick-and-mortar retailers combined!


Data methodology:
InfoScout’s 40,000 Omnichannel Panelists provided real-time visibility into their Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday shopping both online and in-store.  The data in this study includes purchases at all major e-commerce sites including Amazon, Walmart, eBay, BestBuy, Target, Apple (and more) by 8,793 panelists who also reported their online shopping activity to InfoScout more than one year ago.  The margin of error in the market share analysis is <2% absolute.   The confidence intervals for Amazon, Walmart, BestBuy, and eBay in the market share analysis in 2014 are ±2.78%,±2.61%,±2.48%, and±0.9%,  respectively.  The 95% confidence interval for the first chart on normalized $ spent is ±8.26 for the year 2014.   For more information related to InfoScout’s panel representation and data, visit our data page.

Madden tops list of games this Black Friday

While Xbox cleaned up once again this year, which games were the hottest sellers this Black Friday? Sports-related games climbed the list this year owning 3 of the top 6 spots, a jump from just one sports game in the top 5 last year. Madden NFL 15 topped the charts with an 8.4% share of game spend.

Top Games Black FridayNote share data is for game-only purchases, and excludes console+game bundled purchases.

So to what extent did games drive overall sales within the gaming market on Black Friday? Per a previous post, console+game bundles led the way this year while games alone contributed to 37% to the total share. Black Friday is far from the end of game purchases this holiday season; 77% of panelists who purchased a console on Friday plan to purchase 2+ more games before Christmas.

Gaming Console Purchase Breakdown

Data methodology:
InfoScout panelists submitted 180k+ receipts over the course of Black Friday. The data includes purchases at all major retailers carrying electronics including Walmart, Target, Best Buy, GameStop, RadioShack, and others. For more information related to our data and panel representation, visit our data page.

Bundles & Xbox Dominate the Console War

With no major console releases this Black Friday season, retailers turned to lower prices and console + game bundles to lure in consumers. The bundles seemed to be successful in driving sales, as over 90% of console purchases on Friday were bundled with a game.  Was it really the attached game that drove the sale? Apparently so, as 75% of InfoScout panelists who purchased a gaming console this Black Friday said that the included game was a major influence on their purchase decision.

Top Gaming Console Purchases

Gaming bundles aside, which console came out as the winner this Black Friday? PlayStation4 had a disappointing weekend one year ago, capturing only 15% of the console market. While 2014 shows a slightly better story for the Ps4, between the Xbox One and Xbox 360, Xbox once again dominated the console war, owning 62% of the market share.


While we know that kids influence their parents’ purchase decision when it comes to holiday gifts, we were curious to what extent and how that varied from console to console. Unsurprisingly, 66% of InfoScout panelists confirmed that they purchased the console for their kids.

topconsole_kids (1)

Interestingly though, it varied greatly by console with over 50% of PS4 purchasers buying the console for themselves.

Update – 2014-12-01
Multiple sources reached out to InfoScout and were curious about the motivations behind console purchases during the Black Friday shopping weekend. We shared this curiosity, so we collected survey responses from 350 consumers who purchased a console over the Black Friday weekend. The cost of the console certainly played a role, although that varied by console – 71% of Xbox One purchasers cited price as a major influence on their decision versus just 48% of PlayStation 4 purchasers. As other sources have noted, this may have played a role in its success this weekend. Not surprisingly, price-conscious consumers may have also led to the sales of the 8-year-old Xbox 360 as 92% of consumers noted price as a major influence their decision.

Data methodology:

InfoScout panelists submitted 180k+ receipts over the course of Black Friday. Of the 180k receipts submitted, 2k receipts included a games-related purchase. The data includes purchases at all major brick & mortar retailers carrying electronics including Walmart, Target, Best Buy, GameStop, RadioShack, and others. For more information related to our data and panel representation, visit our data page.