84% of smartphone owners use device while in stores

May 17, 2013


Smartphones being used for shopping

There’s no denying the constant presence of our smartphones in all of our day-to-day actions. They are used for everything, especially in the online and offline shopping process. Fully 79 percent of smartphone owners are ‘smartphone shoppers’ meaning that they are using their phones to research or purchase products via their mobile device. Simply entering into a search what a consumer is after will help narrow down the specs, prices, and even pinpoint that particular item locally. Smartphones play an active role in shoppers’ buying experience, with 84 percent now use smartphones while in the actual store.

Interestingly, 82 percent of consumers use search engines to help make purchase decisions. A customer can stand in front of a washing machine, for example, touch it, play with the knobs, and then go online and read reviews and compare prices.

How mobile impacts small businesses

Comparing prices is perhaps the biggest way that this could affect small businesses. Your business may not be in appliances, but the stats speak for themselves. Now, 53 percent of shoppers do price comparison, 39 percent look for offers and promotions, 36 percent find locations of other stores, and 35 percent are looking up the hours of a particular store. The savvy business owner would do well to beef up their business’ mobile presence.

According to the study, “While many businesses might assume that smartphone use in store drives shoppers to seek better prices elsewhere and order online, we found that the opposite was true.”

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Consumers are looking online for information or savings at a time when they are making purchase decisions, and your business should make sure it’s there as well. Especially considering that 1 in 3 mobile shoppers would rather find information on their phone than to ask a store employee, spending approximately 15 minutes doing so. In some of the high-research categories, such as appliances and electronics, upwards of 50 percent of shoppers do their own research.

There are many ways to boost your small businesses online and mobile presence. From expanded online inventory, price matching, to QR codes strategically placed may really help to reach that substantial group of mobile shoppers. They have their phones in their pockets anyway, why not give them something to do with it?

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Tasha Salinas is a staff writer at The American Genius, holding a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications and Journalism from Northeastern University. She is an info geek who reads, talks, & thinks way too much. You don't want to know how long it took her to write this bio.

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