Over half of the 1400 consumers surveyed are using their smartphones to enhance the shopping experience, 67% of these are under 35. iPhone owners appear to be the most tethered to their devices, over 70% report using applications or the internet for in-store assistance. Not only are iPhone owners comparison shopping on their smartphones, almost half are also making purchases with it.
"Given the strong growth in smartphone ownership, everyone is dependent on the in-store experience - from retailers to product manufacturers - each must take advantage of opportunities these devices provide for generating sales and improving the customer experience," says Jeff McKenna a senior consultant for Chadwick Martin Bailey. "Along with designs for packaging, displays, and signage, we will see smartphone-based communication as a necessary element of retail planning."
Key difference were identified by gender. Women are more likely to use their smartphone to find discounts, while men typically use it to check online reviews. Barcode scanning apps account for 44% of in-store app use, 38% use a discount app like LivingSocial and 31% consult review sites.
Qualitatively, some consumers said:
"I use my Smartphone to scan the barcode and check the prices online and reviews of the product...saving time and effort by purchasing the right product for me the first time around so I don't have to return and buy again." -Female, age 18-24
"I was able to shop with more confidence knowing that I was getting a fair price." - Female, age 40-44
The study also found that 23% of smartphone owners have made at least one purchase from their device, the majority of which (41%) take place on an iPhone. Entertainment purchases such as music, movies and TV shows top the list at 46%, banking makes up 39%, electronics 29% and online auctions 25%.
It comes as no surprise that consumers are using their smartphones in-store (is there any place that people don't use them?). Given that the smartphone doubles as a barcode scanner and over half of consumers are already using their smartphones in the retail environement it follows that finding new ways to implement barcodes for the benefit of the customer, is in the best interest of every retailer.
This study was done as part of Chadwick Martin Bailey's self-funded CMB Consumer Pulse program. An executive summary report with additional findings from this study is available as a free download from Chadwick Martin Bailey. Data was collected from 1,491 adults (aged 18 and over) via a nationally representative online survey questionnaire within the United States by Chadwick Martin Bailey the week of January 20, 2011. In addition, iModerate Research Technologies conducted online, one-on-one discussions to more fully contextualize their mobile shopping behaviors.
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