Consumers who enter stores with web-enabled mobile phones are increasingly doing online research at the point of a purchase decision, according to a new report from eMarketer.
While most shoppers are not yet accustomed to logging onto a retailer’s mobile app from the store itself, web research is critical to the overall shopping experience and demand for an in-store experience that takes advantage of web capabilities is growing.
The most common use of mobile phones in stores is to call or text someone to get product advice. But Generation Y consumers, who think of their mobile phone as an extension of themselves, will push development of this market by demanding that retailers offer the interactive experience they expect while shopping in a store.
Retailers Slow to Take Full Advantage of Mobile
Retailers, meanwhile, are just starting to launch mobile commerce offerings, and have barely begun to offer capabilities targeted to in-store shoppers:
- 10.7% of retailers use mobile advertising to promote sales and special offers
- 6.5% have a mobile ecommerce site
- 6.1% have an iPhone app
- 2.8% distribute mobile coupons
- 1.4% use mobile search ads
- 1.4% have search apps for other mobile devices
Meanwhile, a whopping 79.4% are not using m-commerce at all.
Retailers at Risk of Losing out to Amazon or Price Comparison Sites
Nearly half of U.S. retail spending will be influenced by online research, and retailers that don’t launch sophisticated mobile websites and apps may find themselves in the role of a showroom for online pure plays like Amazon, or for mobile price comparison apps, says Jeffrey Grau, eMarketer senior analyst and author of the new report Mobile Shopping from In-Store: A Potential Game-Changer.