67% Use Smartphones to Enhance Shopping, Up from 26%

Significantly more consumers than last year are using smartphones to help them shop and now they have specific needs and desires from retailers.

These needs include access to inventory, personalized in-store services and store apps that help them find products, based on a new global study.

And to build customer loyalty, retailers need to provide consumers what they need when they need it, according to the Retail Without Limits study, conducted by Redshift Research for Oracle and comprising 5,000 interviews about the shopping habits of consumers in 10 countries.

Mobile is the fastest growing method of shopping globally, with most (67%) consumers now using smartphones to enhance their shopping experience.

To give you an idea of how fast mobile is growing, only 26% did smartphone shopping last year.



Here’s how consumers are using technology to shop, according to the study:

  • 67% -- Mobile
  • 67% -- Personal home computer
  • 45% -- Social media
  • 43% -- Apps
  • 42% -- Tablet

A quarter (25%) of consumers want store associates to recognize their shopping history and personalize interactions accordingly and 44% are more willing to make a purchase from a store assistant using mobile technology to check availability, product information or deliver choices.

Almost half (46%) of consumers say their loyalty is influenced by great in-person service, with slightly more than half (54%) wanting in-person interaction in a store.

Previous research has shown that around the same percentage of people would prefer to get information from their mobile device rather than deal with a sales associate.

Some consumers are willing to share information about themselves while others, not so much. Here’s the breakdown:

  • 56% -- Understand the benefits of delivering more targeted promotions
  • 55% -- Have reservations or disagree with sharing information
  • 23% -- Happy to share information

Many shoppers also are seeing the benefit of technology regarding what they hope to get via that technology. This is the value of technology they see in the shopping experience:

  • 70% -- Visibility to stock
  • 59% -- Access to product information
  • 51% -- Ability to track current orders and review history
  • 42% -- A connected shopping journey that ties together channels, returns and service
  • 31% -- Monitoring of personal information/shopping habits to enable personalized promotions/information

Almost a third (31%) of consumers said that right product, right place and the right time is most important to them in their shopping experience and the majority (51%) would be more loyal if that was done right.

On the mobile app front, 50% of consumers said that store apps for product search offer a better experience. Here’s what consumers say would enhance their shopping experience:

  • 57% -- Converged commerce
  • 50% -- In-store apps that enable product search
  • 31% -- Mobile point-of-service
  • 25% -- Solutions that allow store associates to personalize experience

The first step in commerce was for the masses to get a smartphone. All those smartphone-armed consumers now are recognizing the potential benefits around their shopping.

Next will be to see how well their expectations are met and by whom. That may be the biggest influence on customer loyalty.

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