Study: Smartphones Shoppers Not So Bad for Brick & Mortar
Despite rampant showrooming concerns, a new study finds smartphones "contributing to — not taking away from — in-store sales," with smartphone shoppers 14 percent more likely to convert and make a purchase in the store than non-smartphone users.
According to the Mobile Influence Factor study from Deloitte Consulting, through activities such as product research, price comparison or other mobile application use, smartphones currently influence 5.1 percent of annual retail store sales, translating into $159 billion in forecasted sales for 2012. By 2016, Deloitte anticipates mobile’s influence, based on consumers’ smartphone use, will grow to represent 19 percent of total store sales, amounting to $689 billion in mobile-influenced sales. By comparison, direct mobile commerce sales will pass only the $30 billion mark by that time, according to industry estimates.
"That might go against conventional wisdom," Kasey Lobaugh, principal and director of multichannel marketing for Deloitte, told Marketing Daily. "[Retailers] need to provide the right information and functionality consumers are looking for. It’s really a great opportunity to aid in purchasing."
According the survey:
- Nearly half (48 percent) of smartphone owners surveyed say their phones have influenced their decision to purchase an item in a store. Influence tends to be highest at or near the point of purchase;
- More than six out of 10 (61 percent) smartphone owners who use their devices to shop have done so while shopping at the store;
- More than half (52 percent) reach for their phones on the way to the store;
- Nearly four out of 10 (37 percent) smartphone owners surveyed who used a smartphone on their last shopping trip utilized a third-party mobile shopping application, and more than one-third (34 percent) used a retailer’s mobile application.
Mobile shopping activity was also found to skew young. Nearly seven out of 10 smartphone owners (67 percent) between 14 and 34-years-old have used their devices to shop, and 55 percent indicate their smartphones have influenced their decision to make a purchase.
"Retailers need to understand how mobile shoppers are willing to interact with their specific store category, format and merchandise, both inside and outside the store, and customize their mobile strategy around the shopper’s needs and experience," said Mr. Lobaugh.
The online survey, conducted between March 20 and March 30, polled a national sample of 1,041 random consumers and then augmented this sample with additional smartphone owners to reach a sample of 1,557 smartphone owners.
- Smartphones will Influence $689 Billion in Retail Store Sales by 2016: Deloitte Study – Deloitte Consulting
- The Dawn of Mobile Influence – Deloitte Consulting
- Deloitte: Smartphones Helping, Not Hurting, Retail Sales – Marketing Daily/Media Post
Discussion Questions: Do you see smartphone-wielding shoppers driving more sales in-store than to online competitors? How should smartphones be used to maximize in-store sales?