Commentary

Mobile Shoppers & Getting a Deal

As online and in-store shopping dynamics continue to evolve, consumers are figuring out their own best ways to get a deal, even if a minor one.

The latest research around mobile shopping found that the majority (58%) of smartphone owners practice showrooming, shopping in a physical store and then buying online or elsewhere.

However, the Parago Dynamic Pricing Study showed that it doesn’t really take much to sway the mobile shopper, since a price difference of only $5 on a $50 item can determine the sale.

The study also found that Amazon is the prime way smartphone shoppers compare prices in stores.

The good news for retailers is that a majority (67%) of people who showroom would buy from the physical store if the store matched the Amazon price. The bad news, of course, is that some retailers will only match prices of nearby competitors and not all consumers know who will and won’t price match.

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Some retailers such as Best Buy finally came around to matching prices of many competitors, including Amazon, to convert in-store shopping to purchasing, even though not all shoppers are aware of it.

While Amazon may have better prices in some cases, the company also makes it very easy to buy.

When an in-store shopper sees the same item on Amazon and can purchase with one or two taps, there’s not a whole lot of friction in the purchase experience. Sometimes it can be easier than finding a salesperson who may or may not be empowered to match the price.

A recent study from GigaOm also looked at smartphone owner behaviors and found that the majority (52%) are very happy with Amazon compared to about a quarter (27%) very happy with other online stores.

And there are other disconnects.

While retailers plan to increase their mobile investments in paid search and email, a study by Forrester and Shop.org just last week found that the majority don’t offer mobile coupons, won’t be using geo-fencing and have no intention to pursue check-in programs.

From the smartphone user standpoint, the top reasons for using shopping apps were to find coupons (28%), get offers and deals (25%) and compare products (20%).

Research continues to show that mobile consumers can be swayed to buy in physical stores by little things, such as a relatively small discount or price match.

The merchants who miss this also miss the sale. And Amazon is always just a tap away.

 

2 comments about "Mobile Shoppers & Getting a Deal".
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  1. Pete Austin from Fresh Relevance, July 25, 2013 at 4:48 a.m.

    Re: "The latest research around mobile shopping found that the majority (58%) of smartphone owners practice showrooming, shopping in a physical store and then buying online or elsewhere". Note the definition change, which catches a lot more people. It used to be just people who who went to a store and compared prices on their phone before buying, which I have still never seen anyone do. But now anyone who sometimes shops online and sometimes shops instore just became a showroomer, including me.

  2. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin, July 25, 2013 at 10:03 a.m.

    For purposes of space and having used the definition so many times in the past, we slightly abbreviated here, Pete. Showrooming is when a customer browses at a physical store but then buys via mobile either online or from a competing store, as defined within the pages of my last book, "Mobile Influence" (The New Power of the Consumer).

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