Consumers engage in a wide range of product research activities when equipped with their mobile phones in a retail store, finds ClickIQ in a March 2012 survey. The majority of respondents, who qualified for the survey by having researched a product in the past 3 months using their device while at a brick-and-mortar store and since purchased the product, said they accessed the internet to research the product (61%), while one-quarter reported scanning UPS bar codes, and 18% said they had scanned QR codes. Social activities also figured into the equation: 11% sent a text and 8% an image to a family member or friend, while 11% called a family member or friend. 7% also called a different retailer than the one where they were shopping.
Price was easily the most researched piece of information, cited by 82% of respondents. Half read online product reviews, while a significant proportion also compared features (45%) and checked availability (38%). More than one-quarter checked to see what shipping or delivery fees would be incurred by purchasing the product online rather than in the store.
Most respondents also based their final purchase on price: two-thirds said price was the determining factor in where they made their final purchase. Availability (14%), features (8%), free shipping (7%), and already being at a store (4%) trailed as determining factors.
Looking at where respondents did their research, ClickIQ found that 36% did so while in Best Buy, followed by 30% at Walmart, and 29% in Target. The most popular internet searches included going to online-only retailers and accessing the manufacturer’s website of the product they were searching, both at 43%. Almost 2 in 5 visited the online website of a retailer that also has brick-and-mortar stores, but not necessarily the retailer where they were.
Although a plurality searched while in Best Buy, the retailer also did best in retaining the sale. Roughly half of those who researched while in a Best Buy store ended up purchasing the product there (35%) or at the retailer’s website (14%), while 21% purchased the product from Amazon. By comparison, among those who researched while in Target, only 37% either purchased the product from the store (29%) or the website (8%), while 21% bought from Amazon. Walmart showed similar retention, with 36% of researchers either buying the product at the store (26%) or at the website (10%), compared to 24% who bought it at Amazon.
Some interesting gender dynamics emerged when looking at the composition of in-store researchers across the large retailers. Those researching in Best Buy skewed male (56% vs. 44%), while those researching in Walmart skewed female (62% vs. 32%), as did those in Target (54% vs. 46%).
Of note, these same gender variations were found by Nielsen in March 2012 when examining the gender composition of smartphone visitors to the top mobile retail websites in December 2011. Males made up the lion’s share of visitors to the Best Buy mobile website, at 61%, while women made up a much larger proportion of both Walmart (58%) and Target (65%) visitors.
About the Data: The ClickIQ data was collected in an online survey from 3780 of ClickIQ’s US consumer panel members from March 2, 2012 through March 8, 2012. Target respondents must have shopped in a retail store within the past 3 months and also own a mobile device. 406 were further qualified by stating that they used the mobile device while at a brick-and-mortar store to research a product and had since purchased the researched product.
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