Mobile in retail: Shoppers bringing online competition inside bricks-and-mortar stores

Four in ten shoppers worldwide are using their mobile phones while shopping inside a store to compare prices and four in ten are contacting friends or family for advice.
Mobile in retail: Shoppers bringing online competition inside bricks-and-mortar stores

Four in ten shoppers worldwide are using their mobile phones while shopping inside a store to compare prices and four in ten are contacting friends or family for advice, says a recent study.

The leading behaviors are comparing prices and contacting a friend or family member for advice (at 40 percent each), followed by taking pictures of products that they might buy (at 36 percent).

GfK asked mobile phone users in 23 countries what activities they regularly do on their mobile phones while they are inside a store.

Globally, men outweigh women on using their mobile phone inside a store to compare prices on a regular basis, standing at 42 percent and 37 percent respectively, according to the study.

'With significant numbers of shoppers being online whilst they are inside shops, bricks-and-mortar outlets need to respond. Having a close and real-time eye on the pricing of online competitors and reacting quickly are now key success factors for physical retailers, as well as online ones. This is especially true for retailers in regions such as Asia and South America, as consumers here are most active in using their mobiles while in a store,' says Adrian Hobbs, Managing Director of Online Pricing Intelligence at GfK.

The most active age group is shoppers aged 20-29, with nearly half (49 percent) saying they regularly do this, followed by those aged 15-19 and 30-39, both at 45 percent.

Shoppers in Ukraine, South Africa and India are least likely to compare prices in-store on their mobile phones, with just 11, 15 and 17 percent respectively.

Globally, men and women are almost equally likely to use their mobile phones inside a store to contact a friend or family member for advice (40 percent of women and 39 percent of men say they regularly do this).

This shows that word of mouth and advice from the shopper's own circle is now present right at the very moment of making the purchase decision inside a store. Sales staff and the physical shopping experience face a significant new external influence in-store.

Looking at individual countries, shoppers in India (12 percent), Ukraine (13 percent) and Indonesia (16 percent) are again least likely to use their mobile phones whilst in a store to take pictures of products that they might buy.

Image: Corbis

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