Consumers Are Using Mobile Devices to Shop in Stores

For years we thought of the emerging world of retail in terms of “online vs. brick-and-mortar.” However, some new research suggests that the two forms of consumer interaction are blending together in ways that even small businesses should take note of.

In terms of outright consumer preference, brick-and-mortar is still winning the battle. In fact, 94% ($4.4 trillion) of all retail sales in the U.S. last year happened in stores, according to some research from retail strategy and marketing firm InReality.

But InReality found out something really interesting in its research: it seems that the majority of shoppers (75%) are using mobile in-store.

So, even when people buy things in traditional stores, they are using their mobile devices as an integral part of the purchasing process.

Lest you think this all has to do with mobile payments, think again: only 25% of shoppers are using their mobile devices in-store to make a purchase.

This means that, the other 50% of the time, consumers are using mobile devices for such things as product research – even while shopping in stores.

Business owners can benefit from these insights by creating a more seamless online/in-store strategy, using mobile-friendly websites, for instance, and linking to information about the products they sell in-store.

Traditional retailers can therefore benefit from the growth in mobile shopping – not just by creating online channels for selling, but by supporting their in-store marketing and merchandizing efforts with a focus on the mobile channel.

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