82% of U.S. smartphone owners use their mobile devices to shop, according to new data from research firm eMarketer Inc. And 60% of time spent with online retail occurs on a smartphone and/or tablet, compared with 40% on a desktop and/or laptop, digital measurement firm comScore Inc. finds.
The facts could not be more clear: Consumers consider the most personal computing device they own, the one that is never more than three of four feet from them, their smartphone, to be a shopping tool.
Chain retailers, however, need to broaden their minds when it comes to how they view mobile commerce. Every smartphone owner (more than 70% of all mobile phone owners) that walks into a store has their smartphone with them. And, almost by default, they associate shopping with these mobile devices. And they don’t just use their smartphones to shop when they are away from a store, they use their mobile devices to shop when they are in a store. The smartphone has become a personal shopping assistant; and for many consumers, a replacement for the store associate who they don’t want bugging them (and who, frankly, knows much less about the store and its products than does the shopper’s smartphone).
42% of smartphone owners in stores use their devices to conduct research on products, according to a study by Google Inc. 64% of those shoppers use search engines, 46% use that retailer’s mobile website or mobile app, 30% use a different retailer’s mobile website or mobile app, and 26% use another type of mobile site or app, such as a coupon aggregator, Google finds.