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Shoppers using mobile devices in-store spend more

February 28, 2013

Forty-two percent of consumers using a mobile device while in-store spend more than $1,000, according to a new report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau.

In comparison, just 21 percent of those who did not use their device in-store spent more than $1,000. The results point to the growing importance of the synergy between showrooming, Internet product research, digital advertising and online purchasing.

“While the retail industry sometimes seems in a panic over the rise of showrooming, savvy retailers should see an opportunity, not a threat, from mobile use in-store,” said Joe Laszlo, senior director of the Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence at IAB, New York.

“Consumers who used their mobile device for product research in store were far more likely to ultimately make a purchase than average – 71 percent of in-store mobile users versus 59 percent of consumer electronics shoppers overall,” he said. “Thirty percent of those who used their mobiles for in-store research ultimately made a purchase in store.

“Not only are consumers who use their mobile devices for consumer electronics research in-store more likely to ultimately make a purchase, they also spend much more than consumers who don’t use their mobile in the research and purchase process.  Consumers who did use their mobile spent over $1,500 on average, while those who did not use their mobile spent only $929 on average.”

Mobile’s influence grows
The “Showrooming: Empowering Consumer Electronics Shoppers” report found that 42 percent of consumers using mobile devices in-store ultimately made their purchase online.

However, 30 percent made their purchase in the store.

Additionally, those who used their mobile phones while shopping were also more likely to make an unplanned purchase, with 32 percent of those purchasing in-store making an unplanned purchase versus 22 percent of those who purchase online.

The report also found that 65 percent of shoppers who use their mobile device in-store said it made them more likely to buy the product.

The broader experience
Digital advertising was also a notable factor in the showrooming experience for consumers. Thirty-five percent of shoppers recalled having seen ads for consumer electronics they were shopping for. Among these, 7 in 10 said that they had viewed digital ads.

A key finding is that digital ads heavily influenced consumer behavior in shopping for electronics, with 50 percent of respondents saying that digital ads made them visit an online store, while 28 percent said digital ads drove them to a bricks-and-mortar retail location.

Other key findings include that 27 percent of in-store shoppers intended to showroom by trying out the products in the store and then buy online while more than 3 in 4 consumers did some form of online research, on a personal computer or mobile device, prior to going to a store.

The top three drivers for purchasing in-store are, in order, convenience, trying and seeing the product and price. The top ranked motivators for purchasing online are price, convenience, and selection and availability.

“Retailers need to think about mobile as a seamless part of a broader shopping experience,” Mr. Lazlo said. “Consumers do research via their PCs before and after visiting a store, and via their mobiles at any point in the shopping process.

“Retailers that want to serve these empowered, informed consumers need to use their PC and in-store experiences to steer consumers to their mobile offerings-and hopefully steer them away from competitors,” he said.

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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