November 17, 2021
A new investigation finds that in-store shoppers continue to visit showrooms or use their cell phones to check competitor prices, but also use their devices for purposes beneficial to the store they are in.
According to the Airship survey in September, the most popular use of cell phones in stores among U.S. consumers was:
- Use of loyalty cards or coupons stored on the phone, 70%;
- Visit the retailer’s website, 68%;
- Price comparison (eg via Google, Amazon), 68%;
- Using the retailer’s app, 64%;
- Read user reviews, 63%;
- Online purchases and in-store, click & collect or curbside pick-up, 61%;
- Point of sale contactless payment / payment (Apple Pay, Google Wallet, etc.), 55%;
- Scan QR codes or smart shelf labels for more information, 53%.
The results come as the use of the smartphone for shopping received a boost during the pandemic.
By 2025, eMarketer now expects m-commerce, or making purchases through mobile devices, to account for 10.4% of all retail sales in the United States, more than two and a half times the share before the pandemic. Beyond restrictions on in-store purchases during much of the pandemic, the growth of smartphones as a shopping tool is expected to be supported by new technologies such as augmented reality (AR) and 5G, One-touch transparent checkouts, social commerce, live streaming and direct selling influencer.
At the store level, surveys and pre-pandemic studies have already shown that mobile is increasingly influencing the purchasing journey.
A 2019 survey of DetailMeNot find 69% of US consumers prefer to review a product on their phone rather than talking to an in-store associate, and 53% prefer to search for discounts and deals on their phone rather than consult with an associate.
The DetailMeNot A survey further found that nearly half of them had an app that collects offers and discounts from retailers on their smartphones and 69% indicated that receiving a personalized offer on their phone that they could use. in-store would make them more likely to visit a physical point of sale.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do cell phones improve or hijack the in-store shopping experience? What is the best way for retailers to capitalize on the accessibility and increased use of cell phones in stores?
“Phones help consumers. But as retailers, we have to determine what part of their use is significant and what part of the alleged use is incidental. “