Retailers lose 32pc of shoppers to in-store mobile use: study

Tradedoubler research reveals that when smartphones are used in-store for product research, consumer shopping habits sway by 61 percent.

With 32 percent of shoppers changing their mind about purchasing items after researching via mobile while in-store, retailers need to recognize how to optimize mobile engagement with consumers when they are physically present in-store, per the report. The study backs up the trend of more retailers building up their own digital initiatives within bricks-and-mortar stores to compete more actively with Amazon.

“The main implication for retailers with a physical presence is that they still need to provide a seamless and fully integrated omnichannel experience for consumers,” said Dan Cohen, regional director at Tradedoubler, Stockholm, Sweden.

“Many retailers are losing customers because they are unable to market effectively, and in a relevant way to their consumers.”

Location, location, location

The research found that after viewing a product on mobile, 20 percent of people decide to buy elsewhere, 20 percent decide against purchase and 22 percent decide to buy online.

Only 19 percent of shoppers actually complete the purchase cycle in-store.

Tradedoubler data also showed that almost half — 45 percent of respondents — use their smartphone for browsing while commuting, 49 percent when at work, 52 percent in a café or bar and 44 percent while shopping.

It is clear that the tech-savvy consumer is an individual who is interested, yet informed.

Just under half, 46 percent, of connected consumers say they are likely to use a smartphone to look for product inspiration. This behavior is on the rise, as 37 percent say they use their smartphone more than they did a year ago to help them decide what to buy.

The portability of mobile devices makes them ideal for browsing on the go, and offers marketers substantial opportunities to become an integral influence of the shopping cycle.

“Retailers need to act on this by offering a targeted, personalized approach to the in-store shopping experience, and they can do so by using consumer data in an intelligent way to really appeal to the shopper,” Mr. Cohen said.

“For instance, through targeted incentives such as voucher codes, an interest will ignite in the product on offer, and increase the probability of a completed purchase, but also a long-term engagement with the brand,” he said.

Forty-seven percent of respondents in the study turn to their smartphone to compare prices just to make sure they get the best deal.

Mobile has the opportunity to increase sales online and in-store. If retailers harness its influence correctly, they can make certain online consumers are converted to in-store customers.

The rule of five
The study revealed that shoppers are limiting their pool of go-to retailers: 43 percent of people shop at no more than just five stores.

To ensure they become and remain a valued supplier, retailers must keep the attention of the consumer on all platforms, and convince them to buy.

The technology to persuade shoppers already exists with Wi-Fi and location-based capabilities readily available in bricks-and-mortar settings.

More extensive information, reviews and personalized recommendations can assert buyer confidence, and build loyalty and trust.

Right on schedule
Half of all connected consumers polled by Tradedoubler admitted to using their smartphone for mobile shopping every week. Thirty percent do so nearly every day.

Mobile devices have become so embedded in consumers’ lives that they are never more than an arm’s reach away.

Tradedoubler research found that 40 percent of consumers browse on their smartphone and 48 percent use their tablets in bed. Additionally, one in ten goes online as early as 6 a.m.

Tradedoubler report data

Comparing the daily pattern between “big spenders,” those who habitually spend more than $125 online monthly and “high earners,” those with an annual  salary of over $80,000, the research revealed that these two groups are most likely to shop on a Saturday evening.

Those audiences lean towards online shopping because they can shop whenever they wish or have time — 64 percent of high earners and 66 percent of big spenders — and because it is quicker and easier.

On-screen opportunity
Tradedoubler reports that while watching television, 57 percent of smartphone owners use their device for activity related to the program they are viewing, and 59 percent buy something they have seen advertised. These numbers increases to 69 percent and 71 percent when looking at tablet users specifically.

The portability of mobile devices and the growth of social media have created a culture where watching TV is an interactive experience. Viewers are encouraged to comment on and share information on their mobile devices while watching a program.

These two trends allow consumers to respond instantaneously to advertising offers, and pass them along via social networking all from the couch.

Multi-channel retailers can then extend their showroom directly into people’s homes and leisure time, without being invasive or disruptive.

Television advertising that embraces consumer call-to-action marketing methods can see real-time impact and returns from on-screen deals and offers.

Finding a happy medium
Consumers’ enthusiasm for online research using mobile devices is creating new audiences for comparison, voucher codes, loyalty, cash back and daily deals sites.

Visits to such sites used to be traditional after the consumer decided on making a purchase. However the report says that connected consumers now search online for inspiration and ideas, showing that the influence of marketing performance sites causes purchases to be planned much earlier in the shopping cycle.

Fifty-two percent of consumers looking for cosmetic products, for example, say performance marketing sites are influential, rising to 57 percent for fashion shoppers and 63 percent for both electronics and travel.

Mobile’s inherent effects on the digital marketplace and mobile marketing engagement means retailers must reach more specific audiences, and converse with them throughout the whole purchase process.

“It should serve as a reminder that mobile provides a fantastic opportunity for retailers, if they can correctly manage the integration between mobile and their ‘bricks and mortar’ stores,” Mr. Cohen said.

Final Take:
Michelle is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York