79% of smartphone owners qualify as “smartphone shoppers,” says Google in new study results, using their devices to assist with shopping at least once a month. 84% of these smartphone shoppers use their devices to help them while they’re in a store, equating to about 2 in 3 smartphone owners overall using their devices in-store. The most common way these consumers go about their research is through search, per the study, with store and brand websites less popular. That pattern also applies when smartphone owners compare prices, discover promotional offers, and find out where products are sold
Specifically, when researching products in-store, a leading 82% of smartphone shoppers turn to a search engine, while 62% use store websites and 50% brand websites. Search engines are used by close to three-quarters of respondents when making price comparisons and finding where products are sold, and by 63% when looking for promotional offers.
In each case, respondents indicated that they are more likely to turn to a store or brand website than to a store or brand application. Indeed, in-store shoppers said they prefer mobile sites to apps by almost a 2:1 ratio (65% vs. 35%).
- 9 in 10 smartphone shoppers use their phone for pre-shopping activities, most often to find location/directions (58%) and find hours (57%).
- Smartphone shoppers’ use of their devices in-store is common across all categories, ranging from 71% for pet care to 97% for appliances.
- Almost half of smartphone shoppers use their devices in-store for more than 15 minutes per visit.
- Shoppers who tend to use their devices more for shopping also tend to spend more (though there are many variables that could explain why that is the case).
- 1 in 3 smartphone shoppers use their devices to find information rather than asking a store employee, and that figure rises to 55% among appliance shoppers.
- The top benefits of using smartphones in-store are to save time (51%), save money (44%) and make life easier (42%).
- 53% of smartphone shoppers make price comparisons in-store and 39% find promotional offers.
About the Data: The survey was conducted in Q4 2012 among 1,507 smartphone owners who use mobile devices for shopping.