Commentary

Smartphone Shoppers Look for Convenience

There are some obvious opportunities for retailers to help mobile shoppers in their stores.

One of the most obvious, highlighted in a recent study, is to provide Wi-Fi for shoppers for product research while in the store.

While the study by Acuity Group found that just adding Wi-Fi would cause half of smartphone owners to feel more confident making a major purchase while in the store, there are other factors that would help as well.

The study found that consumers essentially want buying through their phone to be easier.

For example, of those who made a mobile purchase, many (83%) say convenience was the chief reason they did it.

And of those who have not yet bought via mobile, a relatively large number (41%) would be more likely to buy if the merchant’s website was optimized for smartphone use.

Many (44%) smartphone owners also say mobile website organization is the most important aspect of a good smartphone experience.

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Interestingly, the study found that younger consumers are most likely to remain loyal to a retailer based on price while older consumers are most likely to remain loyal because of customer service.

This is yet another example of a somewhat mixed market. Just as there are novice and power mobile users, there are those who will be active buying from their smartphone and those who won’t.

For example, smartphone owners 26 to 45 years old are the most likely (73%) to have made a purchase from their phone.

In another indicator that the process of shopping within  the Mobile Shopping Life Cycle is iterative, the study found that the majority (78%) of smartphone owners looked up a retailer’s inventory online prior to visiting the physical store.

After all, there’s no sense going to a store to get something if you already know it’s not there.

The influence of mobile also reaches well beyond the store, with most (59%) smartphone owners being influenced to make an in-store purchase after browsing product images and information on a smartphone.

Mobile shoppers are looking for convenience and ease of use. Those who figure how to best provide that win.

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