Commentary

61% Would Allow In-Store Mobile Tracking For Discounts, Coupons; 30% Say Never

The in-store mobile activity of shoppers is not slowing.

And based on multiple viewpoints, issues related to price are top of mind.

Those pricing issues also are not related to mobile payments, which are hardly the mobile commerce area to be considered hot.

For example, only about a third (36%) of consumers have tried a mobile payment app in a store within the last year, more intent on using credit and debit cards, based on a new retail study.

Most (61%) of them say security issues are holding them back, according to the annual Future of Retail study, which comprised a survey of 1,400 U.S. consumers’ shopping habits, preferences and views on emerging retail technology conducted by Walker Sands Communications.

The big drivers are deals, which is consistent with many mobile commerce studies.

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And some of those deals would cause a change in behavior.

The majority of shoppers would opt in to in-store mobile tracking and push notifications if they received discounts and coupons. Here’s what would cause them to opt in to such tracking:

  • 61% -- Discounts, coupons
  • 47% -- Loyalty rewards
  • 34% -- Faster checkout
  • 11% -- New product notifications
  • 11% -- Personalized recommendations

Of course, in-store tracking is not for everyone, no matter the incentive.

Almost a third (30%) of consumers said there is nothing that could be done and they would never opt in to in-store tracking. Most of those cite privacy and security as the big roadblocks.

Aside from tracking, many shoppers already use their smartphones while they shop in stores, based on a different study.

Some of those in-store mobile shoppers are more active than others, based on a survey of 2,500 U.S. consumers about their shopping experiences conducted by DMI.

Interestingly, the study separated heavy mobile users from the general population.

Heavy users were defined as those whose daily usage is ‘a lot’ or ‘all day’ while shopping in a store, have three or more shopping apps and have made a past purchase on a mobile device.

The most popular in-store mobile activity for both active mobile phone users and the general public is to compare prices. Here are the most popular in-store mobile activities by heavy mobile users:

  • 75% -- Comparing prices
  • 74% -- Accessing coupons
  • 66% -- Taking photos of favorite items
  • 64% -- Checking a shopping list
  • 60% -- Scanning a barcode

For those not as active using their phones, the order of activities is the same, though there are not quite as many consumers participating. Here are the most popular activities of those not as active with mobile:

  • 72% -- Comparing prices
  • 68% -- Accessing coupons
  • 62% -- Taking photos of favorite items
  • 54% -- Checking a shopping list
  • 47% -- Scanning a barcode

Using phones in stores is only going to increase, especially as more people get smartphones (no, everyone does not yet have one) and learn how to conduct certain activities, such as comparing prices and retrieving coupons.

Much of the activity is simply transferring what consumers were doing online at home into the store.

The big difference is the shopper is in the physical store and at the closest point to where most purchases are made.

It is the prime opportunity for a retailer to make a sale. Or, more significantly, to lose one.

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