Mobile Users’ Mixed Feelings About In-Store Shopping

Many say they would prefer to do all shopping online

Author: Patricia Orsini

October 16, 2017

A new study from Criteo finds that US smartphone owners have something of a love-hate relationship with retail stores.

According to a June survey conducted by the commerce marketing firm, 74% of smartphone owners said they like shopping in-store when they have time. Yet 69% said they prefer to conduct all shopping digitally.

Criteo’s study reports that US smartphone owners learn about new products most often by reading about them on websites and apps; the frequency was higher than any other source, including advertising, social media and word-of-mouth. In addition, information on websites and apps drove purchase decisions more often than those other channels.

But rather than automatically pushing a buy button to purchase online, a couple key factors will bring them into a store to buy: convenience and immediate need. Nearly two-thirds of smartphone owners said a convenient location would prompt them to shop in-store. And 60% said an immediate need for a product would send them to a brick-and-mortar retailer.

What’s not luring smartphone shoppers into stores? The ability to try products—only a third said that was a reason to go into a store to shop. Customer service ranked somewhat higher: nearly four in 10 respondents (39%) said knowledgeable salespeople would bring them into a retail location.

Catering to the push-pull of the digital shopper who wants to have the in-store experience when it’s most convenient is a huge challenge for retailers.

A January 2017 survey from BRP (Boston Retail Partners) revealed that omnichannel strategies are top of mind for retailers in North America. More than half—52%—said omichannel integration was a priority for point-of-sale conversion. And 22% recognized a unified or single commerce platform as a focus for 2017.