CE Shoppers Are Showroomers

Retailers looking to capture more of the consumer electronics market would be wise to embrace — rather than fight — the use of smartphones.

According to Parks Associates, 25% of CE buyers said they used mobile commerce apps on their smartphones to help with in-store purchase decisions. Among the things the consumers used their phones for: product research, barcode scanning and interaction with the retailer or product brand app.

“There's no such thing as a pure 'in-store' shopper anymore,” says Jennifer Kent, senior analyst at Parks Associates. "Consumers are checking online information about products before, after, and while they shop in stores. Retailers that embrace this trend will be in a good position to drive more sales within their stores."

Some of the usage varies by retail brand. According to the research, 54% of Target shoppers used at least one mobile commerce app while considering an electronics purchase, while only 38% of Walmart shoppers did the same.

“The retailers that have an omnichannel presence can benefit from it,” Kent tells Marketing Daily. “Some do a better job having their mobile sites optimized or having a [branded] app or having a loyalty program that gives a 360-degree view.”

While some retailers have gotten on board with offering more access to their own and branded apps from within the store, they should begin to proactively encourage it to prevent showrooming.

“CE products are certainly more researched and less likely to be impulse buys,” Kent says. “Working with third party apps that show high usage, like bar code scanners, and having some price-matching tool or way to reward consumers in the store would be very valuable.”

"Cell phone shopping" photo from Shutterstock.



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