Consumers continue to use their smartphones to shop, even if they don’t make the final purchase on their mobile device.
In retail, mobile may be responsible for only a relatively small piece of overall sales, but it doesn’t mean it’s not a critical factor in setting the stage for purchases.
While a purchase may be made in a physical store, a mobile device is becoming a critical shopping agent for research, checking inventory, comparing prices, finding a store and communicating with that store, according to a recent study.
More than a third (36%) of shoppers goes to a physical store at least weekly while only 11% shop that way via mobile phone, based on a global study by PwC.
However, the study also found that almost half (47%) have made a purchase via phone compared to 30% two years ago.
One conclusion in the study is that phones are more an instrument for getting to the point of buying a product rather than being used for the actual purchase. Here’s how people use their phones, as it relates to retail:
While most shoppers don’t buy form their phones, they impact what gets bought and where.
Consistent with other studies, PwC found the biggest obstacle for 66% of consumers to be confidence about personal credit information being secure.
Another consideration is mobile behavior by demographic.
The study found that consumers 18-to-24 years old shop by phone more frequently than any other group, in every category of daily, weekly and monthly. In that group, 39% have never shopped via smartphone compared to more than half (56%) in other age groups.