Smartphones Lead to Greater Transparency in Retail Shopping Experience

Smartphones Lead to Greater Transparency in the Shopping Experience

More Than Half of Smartphone Owners Use Mobile Devices in Retail Stores to Compare Prices, Find Other Store Locations and Check for Discounts

BOSTON, MA — A new report finds smartphones are becoming an indispensable tool in the shopping experience. The study by from Chadwick Martin Bailey and iModerate Research Technologies of over 1400 consumers shows over half of consumers are using their smartphones to enhance their shopping experience, especially those under 35 (67%). iPhone owners top the list with over 70% reporting they use applications or the phone’s web browser to assist them while shopping in-store. iPhone owners are not only comparison shopping on their smartphones, 41% are also making purchases on their phone.

The study identifies key differences by gender. Women are more likely to use their smartphone to find discounts, while men are more likely to check online reviews. When it comes to the apps consumers use on their phones, 44% use a bar code scanning app, 38% use a discount app (e.g. LivingSocial) and 31% turn to review sites. Qualitatively, some consumers said:

“I use my Smartphone to scan the barcode and check the prices online and reviews of the product…saving time and effort by purchasing the right product for me the first time around so I don’t have to return and buy again.” — Female, age 18-24

“I was able to shop with more confidence knowing that I was getting a fair price.” — Female, age 40-44

In addition, the study also found that 23% of smartphone owners have made a purchase on their device, the majority of which (41%) take place on an iPhone. Entertainment purchases such as music, movies and TV shows top the list at 46%, banking makes up 39%, electronics 29% and online auctions 25%.

“Given the strong growth in smartphone ownership, everyone is dependent on the in-store experience—from retailers to product manufacturers—each must take advantage of opportunities these devices provide for generating sales and improving the customer experience,” says Jeff McKenna a senior consultant for Chadwick Martin Bailey. “Along with designs for packaging, displays, and signage, we will see smartphone-based communication as a necessary element of retail planning.”

More Than 33 Million Americans Use Their Mobile Phone for Shopping-Related ActivitiesThis study was done as part of Chadwick Martin Bailey’s self-funded CMB Consumer Pulse program. An executive summary report with additional findings from this study is available as a free download from Chadwick Martin Bailey. Data was collected from 1,491 adults (aged 18 and over) via a nationally representative online survey questionnaire within the United States by Chadwick Martin Bailey the week of January 20, 2011. In addition, iModerate Research Technologies conducted online, one-on-one discussions to more fully contextualize their mobile shopping behaviors.

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