Forget ‘Showrooming’: 77% of Mobile Retail Shoppers Buy In-Store

XAD | 05 / 22 / 2013

Given consumers’ mobile in-store shopping trends, some consider the showrooming hoopla overblown. The research process still begins at home on search engines and comparison sites. While just 6% of smartphone users conduct their most recent mobile retail search in a store while shopping, 77% make their purchases in the store they visit.

The xAd and Telmetrics report released Wednesday identifies select categories of shoppers that rely on their phone more often. Consumers looking for electronics use their device 7.1% of the time, compared with groceries at 6.7%, home goods, 6.6%; and apparel, drug and beauty, 4.7%.

The definition of showrooming continues to change.

Last year, people went into stores and searched online to purchase the items at another retailer for less while in a specific store. Now consumers are pulling out their phone to confirm they’re getting the best price from the store they’re in, according to Monica Ho, vice president of marketing, xAd. She said many more retailers are willing to meet other retail store prices.

“The fear lies in the fact that retailers spend so much money getting consumers in the store from either advertising or marketing on the Web or traditional media, only to lose them when they walk through the store door, Ho said. “We’re not seeing the high in-store activity you would think,” she said.

About half of mobile users begin their retail shopping on a mobile device, while one in four mobile shoppers rely on their device throughout the purchase process. Some 55% of mobile retail shoppers ultimately make a purchase. Immediacy is important, with more than 30% of smartphone users and 25 percent of tablet users intending to make a purchase within an hour.

One-third of online shopping time has shifted to mobile devices, but the average shopping time is 4.4 minutes on smartphones and 4.5 minutes on tablets versus 9.2 minutes on PCs, according to a study.

Globally, numbers related to showrooming have risen. A study from TSN, part of Kanter, reveals that 33% of people globally showroom, and of those 71% are in Asia, 60% in North America, and 54% in Europe. Some 43% use their phones to read reviews while in stores, 31% to compare prices, 14% to check availability in other stores, and 14% to see if it’s easier to order online.

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