Survey: How are customers using their phones in the store?

Smartphones are increasingly becoming a brick-and-mortar shopping tool, according to a new survey from Boston Retail Partners (BRP).

Results from “Special Report: In-store Mobility" indicate that 63% of consumers use their phone for product research, pricing and availability while they are in a store. This frequency of in-store smartphone usage goes along with general trends of mobile shopping’s growing popularity.

According to the study, 85% of consumers have purchased a product via a mobile app, 33% frequently purchase via their mobile device, and 41% plan to increase shopping frequency on their phone or tablet in the next 24 months. Despite the popularity of smartphones with consumers, only 49% of retailers indicate that the customer mobile experience is one of their top customer engagement priorities.

In addition, retailers are not offering in-store mobile coupons and promotions at a rate that keeps up with customer interest. While 67% of consumers indicate that mobile coupons and promotions are an important factor in determining at which store they shop, only 57% of retailers offer mobile coupons and promotions to their customers in the store.

However, retailers are recognizing the importance of mobile POS to the brick-and-mortar environment. Forty percent of consumers are likely to shop at a store offering mobile POS, and 66% of retailers currently offer mobile POS in their stores.

“As customers become more comfortable and proficient with utilizing mobile technology and researching information on their own, retailers need to offer expanded customer-facing mobile services to enhance the shopping experience,” said Marty Whitmore, senior VP and practice lead, BRP. “The proliferation of tablets and mobile phones provides new opportunities for retailers to enhance customer service by offering store associates tools to ‘keep up’ with the abundance of information that customers have at their fingertips.”

BRP’s Special Report: In-Store Mobility is based on findings from the BRP Consumer Study and the 2019 POS/Customer Engagement Survey.