As traditional retailers look for ways to adapt to e-commerce competition, new research suggests shoppers are bringing online competition inside brick-and-motar stores.
Market and consumer research firm GfK released results from a worldwide survey showing that four in ten in-store customers use mobile phones to compare prices while shopping.
During the summer of 2014, GfK interviewed more than 25,000 mobile phone users aged 15 or older in 23 countries, including Canada.
When subjects were asked what mobile phone activities they do inside a store a 40 percent majority said they compare prices. Shoppers, mainly in the 20 to 29 age group, are most likely to use their phone for this purpose, followed closely by the 15 to 19 and 30 to 39 age group, respectively.
“Having a close and real-time eye on the pricing of online competitors and reacting quickly are now key success factors for physical retailers, as well as online ones,” said Adrian Hobbs, managing director of online pricing intelligence at GfK. “This is especially true for retailers in regions such as Asia and South America, as consumers here are most active in using their mobiles while in a store.”
Another factor influencing the indoor retail experience is immediate access to others. 40 per cent of shoppers also said they seek advice from close friends and family while in a store.
And more than a third (at 36 per cent) snap pictures of products they might buy. This behaviour is seen more among teens aged 15 to 19 and young adults aged 20 to 29.