Smartphones are transforming the retail landscape for consumers and store owners. Mobile devices are now a common sight in stores, even more so than shopping carts and cash registers. The latest study “Mobile In-Store Research: How in-store shoppers are using mobile devices”, done in conjunction with the Google Shopper Marketing Agency Council and M/A/R/C Research, revealed that 79% of smartphone owners are ‘smartphone shoppers’, 84% of which are using mobile in-store to help with shopping. This study reveals the role and opportunities of mobile devices in the retail experience.
Mobile In-Store Research found that mobile devices actually influence a customer’s path to purchase a product. A whopping 90% of smartphone shoppers use their phone for pre-purchasing activities.
The top 5 most common uses are:
- finding location/direction (58%)
- finding hours (57%)
- making price comparisons (44%)
- finding promo offers (44%)
- browsing (43%)
It’s important to note that 82% of shoppers use search engines while browsing product information or a retailer in-store, rather than going directly to a site or an app, making mobile search optimization and legible corporate mobile websites an imperative. Additionally, almost half of users, use their mobile devices for 15+ minutes per store.
Significant findings further reveal that shoppers who use mobile more frequently tend to buy more. A comparison of in-store purchases of moderate versus frequent smartphone users shows that frequent mobile shoppers purchase 25-50% more, depending on the industry. Health and beauty purchases of smartphone shoppers are most influenced by frequency of phone usage (+50%), followed by appliances (+40%), electronics (+34%) and household care (+25%).
When it comes to the retail industry, majority of consumers prefer the mobile web experiences over apps and choose mobile search as their #1 in-store resource to help with their buying decision process. Simply put, users want instant access to information and don’t want to put in the effort or the time to download an app to obtain the information they need. Evidently, mobile marketing is no longer an option; it is vital. Additionally, consumers are finding convenience and savings in using their smartphones rather than asking store employees to find information. This trend dramatically increases in the appliance, electronic, baby care and household care categories. In the field of electronics and appliances, nearly 50% of smartphone shoppers would rather find information about the store and its products on their smartphones than inquire from a store employee.
Brands that have fully embraced the impact of this new retail behavior can capitalize on this trend by connecting with customers and by providing the information they want in an accessible, legible manner. By recognizing the pivotal role of mobile to ones overall marketing strategy, and embracing mobile use in-store, retailers will be able to face the challenge of this changing retail landscape.
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