Smartphone Shoppers Actually Increase In-Store Sales

  • Share
  • Read Later
Getty Images

They call it “showrooming,” and to hear the nation’s retailers and other experts fret about consumers using smartphones to buy online while shopping in stores, it’s the worst thing to happen to brick-and-mortar sales since Jeff Bezos started a website to sell books. Except it’s not. Turns out, consumers who use smartphones when out shopping are 14% more likely to make a purchase in the store than those without.

That’s according to a new study from Deloitte, an in-depth survey that might have drawn more attention when it was released if Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts hadn’t had an out-of-body experience when deciding the fate of Obamacare.

The consulting firm’s study, “The Mobile Influence Factor in Retail Sales,” is important for two reasons. First, it reframes the idea that consumers are increasingly going to stores, getting up close and personal with whatever items they’re shopping for, then turning to their smartphones to buy said items from competitors, online or otherwise.

(MORE: Is Stockton the Start of a Rash of Municipal Bankruptcies?)

This happens, to be sure, aided in part by a raft of third-party smartphone apps that make showrooming easier; nearly four in 10 (37%) of the folks surveyed by Deloitte who used a smartphone on their last shopping trip did so through a third-party app. But other things happen, too, many to the benefit of brick-and-mortar retailers. “Mobile devices’ influence on retail store sales has passed the rate at which consumers purchase through their devices today,” Deloitte’s Alison Paul commented in the firm’s press release. “Consumers’ store-related mobile activities are contributing to, not taking away from, in-store sales.” According to Deloitte, for example, roughly half (48%) of all smartphone users surveyed say their phones have influenced their decision to buy an item in a physical store. Overall, the consultant estimates, smartphones will influence 19% ($689 million) of U.S. retail sales by 2016.

That’s why, as my Time.com colleague Brad Tuttle has written, forward-thinking brick-and-mortar retailers have aggressively entered the shopping app game themselves rather than bemoaning the effects of third-party apps. And, clearly, that strategy is the right one: More than one third (34%) of smartphone owners surveyed who used  their device on their most recent shopping trip employed a retailer’s app to make the purchase. And this habit is only likely to increase as smartphone adoption becomes more widespread, because the longer people have smartphones, the more likely they are to use them when shopping: According to Deloitte, smartphone use for store-related shopping increases 40% after the first six months of ownership.

“Retailers that do not engage shoppers through specialized mobile applications or targeted smartphone-based promotions leave the door open for competitors to reach a customer who is standing in the retailer’s store and at the point of purchase,” Deloitte’s Kasey Lobaugh is quoted as saying. And, doubtless, Deloitte’s digital and retail consultants would be more than happy to help any and all retailers get up to speed in the shopping app game!

(MORE: How Each Justice Framed the Health Care Debate)

Which is fine; that’s why consultant firms commission these kinds of studies — to build their businesses. And it’s why all such reports, especially those based on surveys, should be read with caution. What people do vs. what they tell survey takers they do are often different. (See any survey about infidelity.) But the general tone and conclusions of the study pass the smell test, which leads us to the second reason why it’s important.

If it turns out that shopping apps actually enhance rather than diminish in-store sales, it will only be the latest example of a new technology helping an established business model despite the sky-is-falling forecasts of supposed experts in a field. From concerns that the telegraph would kill the newspaper business to worries that TVS and VCRs would ruin Hollywood, established competitors in a longstanding business are notoriously poor at understanding or predicting the effect of so-called disruptive technologies. More often than not, they benefit rather than damage an industry, and even more frequently they’re a boon for consumers.

As a wise philosopher once said, “Everyone is conservative about their own thing.” And that’s especially true about business leaders.

5 comments
Increase Sales
Increase Sales

It's been so obvious that the smart phones have been increasing their sales it's because of it's public demand. Mostly peoples were using the smart phones because of it's coolest and latest feature in which you will be able to do regular social network updates. Therefore, it is really great chance for them to have more sales compare to the other company.

Increase Sales
Increase Sales

It's been so obvious that the smart phones have been increasing their sales it's because of it's public demand. Mostly peoples were using the smart phones because of it's coolest and latest feature in which you will be able to do regular social network updates. Therefor, it is really great chance for them to have more sales compare to the other company.

Firozali A.Mulla
Firozali A.Mulla

After analysing the information,

the main conclusion drawn by the researchers is that in a situation where

cooperating with others is beneficial, the way the individuals involved are

organized into one social structure or another is irrelevant. A first analysis

contradicts what many researchers have held based on theoretical studies. In

the experiment, the degree of cooperation in a network in which each subject

interacts with four other individuals is compared to a network in which the number

of connections varies between 2 and 16, that is, one that is more similar to a

social network. What has been observed is that the results in the two networks

are identical. "This happens because, contrary to what has been proposed

in the majority of studies, people do not make their decisions based on the

rewards obtained (by them or by their neighbours), but rather based on how many

people have recently cooperated with them, as well as on their own mood at the

time," the researchers explained. These results help understand how people

make decisions, above all in the context in which one has to decide between

collaborating with or taking advantage of others. "Understanding why we do

one thing or another can help in designing incentives that induce people to

cooperate," the authors of the research pointed out. On the other hand,

the fact that the networks are not important has implications, for

organizational design, for example. The experiment revealed that people are not

going to cooperate more because of being organized in a certain way. In this

respect, it can be inferred that we do not have to be concerned with the design

of organizational structure, but rather with motivating people individually to

cooperate. Ruling out that network organization influences in the cooperation

of people, and having discovered that what is important is reciprocity, that

is, cooperating according to cooperation received, will radically change the focus

of a significant number of researchers who are developing theories on the

emergence of cooperation among individuals. I thank you Firozali A.Mulla DBA

Ergun bidik
Ergun bidik

Company Name: TRAMSCOM LIMITED

Registered No: 02867254

Registered Office : 3 COLDBATH SQUARE, LONDON, EC1R 5HL, UNITED KINGDOM

Website http://www.cancomuk.com

Category 5248 | OTHER RETAIL SPECIALISED STORE

Type Private Limited with share capital

Status Active

Now On Sale, Unlocked iPhone 4S / Galaxy S3 gt-i9300 In Factory Box...Smartphone,Android,Tablets,Gadgetamp;Accessories, Exclusive Offer for all International buyer's @ affordable prices!!! Offer valid while stock last safety delivery @ your Doorstep!!!

Offer prices below:

iPhone 4s:

16GB,,,us$480

32GB,,,us$565

64GB,,,us$675

Samsung:

Galaxy S3 gt-i9300 (16gb),,us$530

Galaxy S3 gt-i9300 (32gb),,us$585

Galaxy Note,,,us$430

Galaxy I9100 S II,,us$400

Galaxy Tab 10.1,,$400

Products Available in Color (Black,Mable White,Pebble Blue)

Contact Us: Tramscom_websales@net-shopping.com