Smartphone Shoppers Growing

A new poll from market research firms Chadwick Martin Bailey and iModerate Research Technologies found that over half of smartphone owners use their devices to help them while shopping in-store. That number jumps to 70 percent for iPhone users, the highest among mobile brands. Consumers continue to make smartphones an essential part of the shopping experience, comparing prices and looking for discounts before making purchases — and retailers, while lagging behind, are doing likewise.

How People Use Their Smartphones in Shopping

Among all smartphone shoppers, 44 percent have used bar code scanning apps, while 38 percent have used discount or deal apps, with ladies more likely to make use of smartphones to find discounts, and men more likely to check online reviews. In addition, 23 percent of smartphone users have made purchases through their devices, or 41 percent of iPhone users. Consumers are using mobile devices to gain real-time information on the move, and comparison shopping to find the best deal obtainable.

Several prominent retailers have started exploring the smartphone shopping space by generating their own apps. Meanwhile, emerging apps, such as Decks, aggregate sales from various merchants and tailor them to a user’s interests and cost points.

“Along with designs for packaging, displays and signage, they will see smartphone-based communication as a necessary element of retail planning,” said Jeff McKenna, a senior consultant for Chadwick Martin Bailey. “But the fact that we have not seen much exploration in to smartphone shopping tells me retailers have not been proactive about it.” “Marketers, retailers and manufacturers need to stay ahead of the curve and proactively prepare and implement a mobile shopping plan,” the document said.

But the document said that retailers need to do much more. At a maximum, they could offer more exclusive deals and products — store-branded goods, bundled products or customer customization of products — making it more difficult to comparison shop in the first place. New apps are also giving automobile buyers key information on the move, highlighting the power of mobile devices to tell purchasing choices. More broadly, they ought to embrace shopping apps, alerting shoppers to specials, providing more details about products online and delivering more shopping rewards through mobile devices. Retailers ought to be tapping in to smartphone shopping the way they and other companies are feverishly exploring social media, the document said.

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