Smartphones dominate pre-purchase activities in shops: report

Reseach by Google and MARC finds 84 per cent of shoppers use their smartphone to help make purchases while in-store, and prefer search over apps

New research undertaken by Google has found 84 per cent of shoppers use their smartphone to help make purchases while in-store, marking a significant shift in pre-shopping behaviour.

The new Mobile In-Store Research: How in-store shoppers are using mobile devices</i>, which was conducted by Google Shopper Marketing Agency Council and MARC Research, reported 79 per cent of smartphone owners are smartphone shoppers, with 82 per cent using search engines to make purchase decisions while physically in a store.

Pre-shopping activities dominated usage for 90 per cent of smartphone shoppers. Just over 50 per cent of those using phones while shopping are doing price comparisons, followed by finding offers and promotions (39 per cent), finding locations of other stores (36 per cent) and finding hours (35 per cent).

Mobile sites are also preferred over apps by 65 per cent of the survey respondents.

The more mobile the shoppers are, the more they buy too. Google pointed out the median basket size for appliances jumps from US$250 to $350 when it comes to frequent smartphone shoppers. Appliances and groceries lead the list of product segments followed by baby care, electronics and household care.

“While many businesses might assume that smartphone use in-store drives shoppers to seek better prices elsewhere and order online, we found that the opposite was true,” Google product marketing manager of mobile ads, Adam Grunewald, said in a blog post. “We compared the in-store purchases of moderate and frequent smartphone users and found that basket sizes of frequent mobile shoppers were 25-50 per cent higher.

“Marketers shouldn’t shy away from the showrooming challenge, and should instead meet it head-on.”

Smartphone shoppers are defined as those using a smartphone to assist with shopping at least once a month, while frequent smartphone shoppers use their devices at least once a week. One in three shoppers will also use their smartphones instead of asking store employees.

Understanding this new retail behaviour opens up opportunities for brands to connect with customers in key consideration moments, Grunewald claimed. He cited a range of initiatives already being used such as QR codes that share more information about products via a smartphone, or apps with store maps and real-time inventory.

“Whatever tactics marketers choose, it’s clear smartphones are changing the in-store experience and that winning the key decision moments at the physical shelves means owning the digital shelves too.”

The report was based on surveys of 1,507 smartphone owners who use mobile devices for shopping and was undertaken in the last quarter of 2012. Google and MARC pre-empted this with a qualitative study in Q3, 2012.

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia or take part in the CMO Australia conversation on LinkedIn: CMO Australia.

Join the CMO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Supporting Association

Blog Posts

Top tips to uncovering consumer insights for business innovation

An in-depth understanding of consumers sits at the heart of what we all need to do, but we know it’s not always easy to uncover insights that will unlock a true innovation opportunity.

Matt Whale

Managing director, How To Impact

Is your customer experience program suffering bright shiny object syndrome?

You may have heard of ‘bright shiny object syndrome’. The term is used to describe new initiatives undertaken by organisations that either lack a strategic approach, or suffer from a failure to effectively implement.

Leveraging technology to stand out in the sea of sameness

The technology I'm talking about here is data and marketing automation. Current digital marketing methodology, much as it is practiced at Bluewolf, dictates the need for a strategy that does four things: Finds the right audience, uses the right channel, delivers the right content, and does all of that at the right time.

Eric Berridge

CEO and co-founder of Bluewolf, an IBM Company

Lead Management is very important part of the process. For anyone running Facebook Lead Ads I would recommend using this service.Get your...

Dirk Lo

How this fintech startup is improving content marketing and lead generation

Read more

I am agreeing with Mr. Tyron Hayes that a measured test-and-learn approach could be missing opportunities to not only better engage custo...

rush essay reviews

CMO interview: How Curtin University’s marketing chief is using test and learn to cope with complexity

Read more

Excellent!

Dr Sadasivan,US

Shakespeare shows data and creativity aren’t Montagues and Capulets

Read more

Great article! Agreed with all... Matthew Lerner, Deeps De Silva... When a company has a great product that solves customers needs, a gre...

James Tyler

Why marketers are embracing growth hacking techniques

Read more

Very good article, Social media analytics helps in problem identification. They can serve as an early warning system for negative custome...

BizVinu

Four ways to use social media to boost customer loyalty

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in