By Richard Manfredi on Aug 20, 2014 3:00:00 PM
As busy people who are never without their mobile phones, browsing, researching and purchasing on mobile is fast becoming the most convenient way to shop. In a report by xAd and Telemetrics, “46 percent of respondents describ[ed] their mobile device as their ‘most important shopping resource.”
And don’t be fooled into thinking that this applies only to retail: “56% of first-half orders from Just Eat were from mobile” (see here), highlighting the convenience mobile provides across the board
Mobile has prompted fundamental changes in shopping habits
In becoming a key tool in consumers’ armoury for cost effective and convenient shopping trips, mobile has both enhanced and fundamentally changed the way people shop. It is responsible for the coining of the terms showrooming, reverse showrooming and, the latest buzz word, boomerooming.
The shopping journey is longer
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the shopper journey takes longer than it used to. This is because shoppers have the ability to research items before they step into the store; once there, they take the opportunity to browse the physical items, do some quick price comparisons on their phones, and then head home to conduct some final research before purchasing the item online (on mobile or tablet). The product is purchased in the knowledge that they could not have found a better deal and, with options such as next day delivery and click and collect, shoppers can spin the process out to the very last minute.
Unfortunately, not all retailers view such changing shopping patterns as a positive thing. But those that embrace them and leverage mobile to enhance the shopping – and particularly in-store – experience, provide their customers with unique and immersive shopping experiences.
Examples of this can be seen through those stores that allow shoppers to pay on their mobile phones, in-store, without the need for cash or card. Others, such as those on Regent Street, allow consumers to opt to receive personalised messages as they pass by thanks to iBeacons. Indeed, most recently stores including Hawes and Curtis have been implementing beacon-enabled mannequins, allowing shoppers with the app to access additional information on the clothes and share with friends.
The phenomenon that mobile is a shopping tool we can’t live without will only become truer, as technology such as iBeacons becomes more widely used. Consumers will become increasingly savvy; they will feel more comfortable with such technology and the obvious benefits of having to carry only a phone will override traditional methods of paying for a product.
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