In-Store Assistance? Shoppers Take Mobile over Salespeople

When it comes to reaching mobile shoppers, many retailers may be missing the mark.

Merchants have incentive to find effective ways to interact with in-store shoppers, since overall mobile-influenced in-store sales are pegged at $593 billion, based on a new study.

The New Digital Divide, a nationwide survey of consumers by Deloitte Digital, looked at the overall influence of mobile activity on ultimate sales.

Most mobile shopping studies focus on mobile-purchasing, as in how many people buy from a smartphone or tablet or how much money is spent that way, rather than the overall impact of mobile on the entire customer journey.

“The current intense focus on customer relationship management and analytics to gauge the return on digital-related investments has created a tunnel vision among some retailers,” states the report. “They expect each individual investment to yield an incremental return.



“Digital investments should not be evaluated individually, but instead measured holistically across the enterprise as a means to influence consumer purchase decisions.”

As in numerous other studies, this one also found that most final purchase action (94%) takes place in a physical store.

However, the challenge for merchants is how to interact with mobile shoppers while they are in those stores.

When it comes to getting assistance in a store, shoppers would rather use their own device rather than deal with salespeople. Here’s the rundown on how many shoppers want to use their own device and what for:

  • 59% - -Look up item price
  • 52% -- Get product information
  • 51% -- Check item availability
  • 48% -- Checkout/make a payment
  • 47% -- Navigate to an item

And here’s how many would prefer to deal with a sales associate:

  • 17% --Look up item price
  • 20% -- Get product information
  • 22% -- Check item availability
  • 24% -- Checkout/make a payment
  • 20% -- Navigate to an item

Consumers increasingly are using their phones to assist in their shopping journey, the Mobile Shopping Life Cycle.

That usage doesn’t stop when they walk into a store.

3 comments about "In-Store Assistance? Shoppers Take Mobile over Salespeople".
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  1. Ronald Stack from Zavee LLC, April 28, 2014 at 10:58 a.m.

    I wonder if those numbers change as a function of the perceived value of the associate's input. For example, consumers might believe that an associate adds more value in making sure a football helmet is selected and fit correctly than s/he does in suggesting a pair of socks.

  2. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin, April 28, 2014 at 11:09 a.m.

    Good point, Ronald. If it helps, the top digital activities by store type were comparing and finding coupons for clothing and sporting goods and for auto parts and accessories it was getting product information.

  3. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, April 28, 2014 at 1:12 p.m.

    $7.25/hour with heavy turnover. Think about it.

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