Breaking down the numbers further, 62 percent of smartphone shoppers use a smartphone to “assist with shopping” at least one time a month and 17 percent use their phones while in a store at least once a week. The study then goes deeper into how customers use their phones to help them with purchasing decisions.
Shoppers Using Smartphones In-Store
For example, 90 percent of smartphone shoppers use their phones before shopping, usually to find locations and directions or to look up store hours. Of those, 84 percent use their phones in the store, and the study reports that the percentage of smartphone use varies by shopping category. To illustrate, 97 percent of smartphone shoppers use their phones while shopping for appliances, while 71 percent use them when shopping for pet care items. About one-third of shoppers use smartphones for in-store research versus speaking to employees as self-help becomes the new norm.
Certainly one of the biggest debates among mobile marketers is exactly how the practice of showrooming — visiting a store to check out products, but buying online — will affect brick-and-mortar businesses and there’s no clear answer yet. What is apparent is that in-store mobile browsing is no small fad, and the already-large trend will continue to grow.
Combining the Online and In-Store Experience
The study echoes what many other retailers are learning about showrooming, stating “it’s going to happen, so find a way to take advantage of it.” The study recommends a two-pronged approach that involves improving customers’ ecommerce and in-store experiences. For example, a helpful QR code can be included in a new interactive product demo staffed by expert sales associates.
The overall marketing goal has not changed with new technology: Retailers must offer engaging experiences that are distinguished from other stores. Now, that just has to be done both online and in-store.
Mad Mobile is the leading provider of mobile-first solutions for the world's top companies and retailers.
Looking for a technology partner who can deliver amazing mobile solutions across multiple mobile interfaces?