The Goals of Mobile Shoppers vs. the Goals of Retailers

Retailers seek to drive mobile shoppers to their stores while those consumers have different ideas on how they want to use their smartphones once they get there.

U.S. consumers are using their phones for shopping at least sometimes in various locations, including at home (44%), in a store (32%) and at work (27%), based on a new study by RSR Research.

But what the phone is used for during the shopping process differs based on location.

While at home, most (60%) of shopping consumers use their phones to research product selection while most (57%) of those in stores use them to compare prices.

From the retailers’ perspective, fewer than half (47%) of them see mobile as influencing consumer purchases more than half the time but within three years most (75%) think it will.

The current primary goal of retailers is to drive sales to the store, based on the RSR study. The goal of retailer’s mobile strategies:

  • 49% -- Drive sales to the store
  • 41% -- Provide a new selling channel for existing brand
  • 39% -- Empower our employees to meet customer service expectations
  • 35% -- Help our employees to be more efficient
  • 34% -- Provide rich content and community input to help consumers choose our brand
  • 30% -- Give consumers the ability to match our products/prices to competitors’
  • 30% -- Enable our decision makers with better, more timely information
  • 21% -- Provide a channel for post sales, self-service support

The majority of retailers (56%) say they know consumers are using mobile as part of their shopping experience so feel a need to be there. However, those merchants also see a host of challenges relating to their mobile strategy.

  • 41% -- Difficulty coordinating with other channels
  • 33% -- Seeing significant online traffic from mobile sources
  • 31% -- Understanding and accommodating how different segments engage with us
  • 28% -- Consumer privacy concerns
  • 25% -- Don’t know what customer perceives as valuable
  • 20% -- Difficulty differentiating from the competition
  • 13% -- Mobile price comparison at the shelf is hurting our business
  • 13% -- Confusion about what makes a successful strategy

The top mobile strategy goal of merchants is to drive customers to stores while the top desire of mobile shoppers once there is to use their phones to compare prices.

Highlighting one of the mobile shopper-retailer gaps, fewer than a third of retailers see giving consumers that price matching ability as a strategic imperative.

Fine tuning the mobile shopping experience in stores still has a ways to go.

4 comments about "The Goals of Mobile Shoppers vs. the Goals of Retailers".
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  1. Retailigence Team from Retailigence, March 4, 2014 at 4:01 p.m.

    Smart retailers won’t wait until mobile shoppers are in-store to make a meaningful connection – they’ll help the consumer by matching in-store inventory to the shopper’s search, providing the shopper with the best local options for buying the good in store (including prices) and also giving the consumer the opportunity to reserve online for in-store pickup. Don’t wait until the shopper is in the store to make mobile count – use it to drive in-store traffic in a way that makes the shopper’s journey easier while building trust with the shopper.

  2. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin, March 4, 2014 at 4:07 p.m.

    Now there's an idea! Dealing with the entire Mobile Shopping Life Cycle, ultimately making the in-store visit more efficient. Thanks for the comment.

  3. Jull Sanders from MO Team, March 13, 2014 at 3:07 p.m.

    What I like most in online or mobile shopping is to do it without leaving the privacy of my house, I can understand the retailers, but seems to me various shops as we use to know them are not any more up-to-date. Shopping online, I can not only compare prices, but put my goods on a list if I lack money to pay for them after I've got some means from a trustworthy Pesonal Money Service.

  4. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin, March 13, 2014 at 3:59 p.m.

    Good points, Jill, though research studies consistently show that for various reasons the majority of shoppers still prefer to go to a physical store.

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