Half of Consumers Look For Better Deals on Their Phones When in Physical Stores

Showroom of modern furniture storeIt’s no secret that mobile users like to use their devices to shop locally. Research shows that 95% of smartphone users have looked for local information, after all. However, new research has found that mobile users are doing more research than most might think.

According to a new study by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), half of adults look products up while they’re actually physically in a store, a practice called “showrooming” that’s popular amongst younger consumers. In the study, showrooming is defined rather broadly, referring to in-store mobile price comparison activity and not necessarily in-store shopping.

What’s interesting is that the study found that consumers usually end up buying a product after showrooming, but not at the same physical store in which they began their mobile research. In other words, they are looking to find a better deal at a competitor’s store. The next most likely thing to happen, according to the study, is that the consumer will purchase the product online after they leave the store.

“With the holiday shopping season in full swing, consumers are turning to smartphones and tablets throughout the gift-buying process,” said IAB’s VP and general manager of mobile and video Anna Bager.

Perhaps the most significant insight that retailers can glean is that Millennials, defined as consumers between the ages of 18 and 34, are more likely to buy a product at a competing store after researching than other shoppers are. Older consumers are more likely to buy the product at the same store after doing research on a mobile device.

“This report spotlights contrasts in how different generations shop on digital — significant differences that need to be considered in brand marketers’ strategies,” said Bager.

It’s worth noting, though, that the study’s finding are based on survey responses rather than hard sales and transaction data.

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