In-Store Device Usage Is Moving Beyond Price Comparisons

Many use mobile to read customer reviews

Author: Rahul Chadha

December 14, 2017

Showrooming, in which customers visit a store to assess merchandise with the intent of making an online purchase, is now a well-established behavior among many shoppers.

But consumers are also developing a more nuanced profile of in-store mobile device activities aside from conducting price comparisons.

A new survey from Scandit, which offers barcode scanner SDK for iOS and Android developers, found that 44% of internet users in the US, UK and Germany thought a mobile device would improve their in-store experience at brick-and-mortar locations. And smartphones were overwhelmingly the device they would like to use.

Fully 83% of respondents who used mobile devices at physical stores turned to their smartphone, compared with just 14% who used a tablet and 3% who employed a wearable device.

Scandit’s survey also revealed that checking product prices was a popular in-store mobile activity for the shoppers surveyed. In fact, 40% of respondents said they used their devices for just that purpose.

But the same number used a mobile device to locate stores, while 38% used one to check a store’s operating hours. Another 33% used mobile devices to read reviews penned by other customers.

It might seem obvious, but Scandit concluded that one easy way physical retailers could appeal to consumers using mobile devices in stores was to make sure to offer a mobile app.

The survey found the most popular native app features among in-store customers were coupons, reading reviews, searching for sales and facilitating self-checkout.