Editor’s note: The following is the sixth installment in Retail Dive’s Consumer Survey, a six-part series examining the psyche of the American consumer and the evolving role of the brick-and-mortar store in the shopping journey. Check out all of our results on our landing page.
Thanks to mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, on-the-go consumers have ready access to all kinds of digital information when and where they need it.
Roughly three-quarters of Americans own a smartphone today, according to Pew Research Center, and many are being used to research products, compare prices and download coupons, among other things, while shopping in a physical store. In fact, digital interactions now influence 56 cents of every dollar spent in brick-and-mortar stores, according to Deloitte Consulting. These findings underscore the importance for retailers and brands to integrate digital and mobile into their marketing plans and business strategies.
In our last installment of the Retail Dive Consumer Survey, we examined how often consumers research products online before buying those items in physical stores. Now in our latest and final installment we explored specific ways the 603 consumers surveyed use their mobile phones while shopping in brick-and-mortar stores.
According to our results, the top uses of smartphones while in a store include researching product information and checking or comparing prices. This kind of behavior is even more prevalent among younger shoppers under the age of 35. Our results jibe with a recent Salsify study that found consumers more willing to consult their mobile phones than store associates while shopping in stores.
If nothing else, these findings should set off a few warning bells for retailers and brands. They confirm the importance of offering a seamless and top-notch integrated retail customer experience — one that includes mobile. They also suggest work is needed inside the store to improve the customer experience, providing knowledgeable staff and better information at the point of sale.
Product and price lookup prevails
The most common use of smartphones while shopping in brick-and-mortar stores is to research products or look up product information, cited by 58% of consumers in our survey. Checking or comparing prices, cited by 54% of consumers, came in a close second.
This means retailers and brands must be on their games, featuring adequate and accurate information both offline and online to meet shopper expectations. Inside stores, this could take the shape of informational POS signage or kiosks,…