Consumers Rely on Smartphones to Help Them Shop


Consumers Rely on Smartphones to Help Them Shop

Shoppers still like physical stores, and retailers can use mobile apps to draw them in.

AUSTIN, Texas—Brick-and-mortar stores still play a major role in most Americans’ paths to purchase, according to a new survey by Austin-based RetailMeNot, a coupon company, and conducted by Kelton Global, a consumer research organization. However, retailers need a strong, effective mobile strategy to draw customers into stores, reports Progressive Grocer.

According to the survey:

  • 69% of in-store shoppers would rather consult a product review on their phone than ask questions of a store associate.
  • 53% would rather use a mobile device to find deals and offers on products they’re considering than discuss promotions with a store associate.

In addition to relying on their phones in stores, consumers use their devices to find deals:

  • 49% of Americans have a smartphone app that collects and provides deals and discounts across retailers.
  • 65% of Americans say receiving mobile coupons is important when shopping in physical stores.
  • 69% say receiving a personalized offer on their phone that can be used in-store would make them more likely to visit a physical retailer.

The survey also found that while 64% of shoppers complete their purchase in-store, they often start shopping on a mobile device (39%) or computer (14%). Even when finding a deal on their mobile device, 30% are more likely to complete the purchase at a store.
“Mobile browsing and research are standard for most shoppers, and a substantial number of consumers are comfortable converting on either that same smartphone device or in a physical store, based on what is convenient to their needs at the time,” said Marissa Tarleton, CEO of Austin, Texas-based RetailMeNot.
“In-store retail is still the most important channel for consumers, and the role that mobile plays in the shopping journey is notable to retailers who want to reach in-store shoppers,” she added. “The mobile device is the No. 1 in-store shopping companion, which is a marketing opportunity for retailers to drive in-store footfall, incentivize sales and understand online-to-offline behavior.”


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