58% of Mobile Shoppers Prefer Phones Over Salespeople

While many shoppers aren’t using their phones in stores to help them decide what to buy, most of those who do would rather turn to their mobile device than a salesperson for help.

While shopping in a store, the majority (58%) of mobile shoppers prefer to look up information on their smartphone or tablet rather than talk to a store employee, based on a new study.

Those shoppers also find mobile-gathered information to be more helpful than what stores provide.

Well over half (62%) of mobile shoppers perceive the information they get via their mobile device to be more beneficial than information on in-store displays or sales literature, according to the Consumer Electronics Association study Enhancing the In-Store CE Retail Experience Using Mobile Devices.

The findings are based on a survey of 753 adults who have shopped in a retail store within the last 12 months and used their smartphone or tablet to assist in shopping or making a purchase decision while in a store.

The survey found that more than a third (36%) of the online general population use their mobile device while shopping in a store.

As in other studies, the CEA report found a range of product types where mobile shoppers use their phones:

  • 60% -- Electronics
  • 55% -- Groceries
  • 47% -- Apparel
  • 39% -- Health and beauty products

Of those who turn to their mobile device for additional product information while in a store, searching the internet is at the top of the list. Here’s what they do:

  • 69% -- Conduct a general internet search
  • 52% -- Visit a store-specific website
  • 47% -- Use a store-specific app
  • 46% -- Visit a manufacturer-specific website

A Harris poll last year also found that the majority (59%) of smartphone-armed showroomers prefer looking up product information on their phone to asking salespeople for help, as I wrote about here at the time (Using Mobile to Help Consumers Buy In-Store).

Retailers who don’t cater to in-store mobile shoppers through their phones may find themselves totally left out of the final decision process during a shopping trip.


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