Consumers Rely on Smartphones to Help Them Shop

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

May 09, 2019

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.”