31% Compare Prices While Shopping, 34% Don't Use Phone in Store

Numerous studies show that consumers shop on their smartphones and tablets but buy in stores.

It’s also no secret that many consumers also use their phones in stores as they shop and a recent survey gives some indication of the range of mobile activities going on in stores.

Many consumers are comparing prices, looking for deals and checkout product reviews, according to the survey by Marketing Land. Here’s the range of what shoppers do:

  • 31% -- Compare prices of products through Amazon, other online retailers
  • 30% -- Look for offers and coupons
  • 28% -- Call friends or family for advice
  • 27% -- Look for product reviews
  • 18% -- Found other stores that have a desired product in stock
  • 15% -- Scan barcodes or QR codes
  • 13% -- Look for gift ideas

Not all consumers are tapping into mobile as they shop, since the study also found that more than a third (34%) don’t use their phones in stores at all.

Regarding their experience with e-commerce or shopping on their phones, consumers had a range of viewpoints. More than a third (35%) don’t use their phones for actual purchases finding a friction-free experience lacking.

  • 35% -- Don’t buy by phone; checking out and paying too difficult
  • 22% -- Research by phone, but buy later on a PC
  • 14% -- Research and buy things by phone
  • 13% -- Have security concerns about credit card transactions
  • 11% -- Buy things on mobile phone only when no other options
  • 4% -- Do research by phone but buy later on a tablet

What strikes me in the findings is not so much how many people are using their phones for various shopping activities as how many people are not.

For example, only about a third of shoppers are comparing prices through various online retailers.

And only about half as many of those comparing prices are using their phones to scan prices. As anyone who frequently scans product barcodes knows, doing price comparisons is lightning fast compared to finding prices via various mobile websites.

It just may be that there’s a lag in consumer usage fully capitalizing on the technical capabilities of mobile.

Retailers better be ready when the masses catch up.

2 comments about "31% Compare Prices While Shopping, 34% Don't Use Phone in Store".
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  1. Pete Austin from Fresh Relevance, December 20, 2013 at 6:34 a.m.

    Any chance of some photographs showing a large store with their real customers busy on their smartphones doing these things? Although we all know know pictures can much more effective than words, I've never seen such a photograph.

  2. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin, December 20, 2013 at 10:58 a.m.

    Not sure any of the research firms conducting the nationwide studies and surveys deal with photos, Pete. It also is still a minority of smartphone owners involved in many of these behaviors.

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