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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : January 17, 2011

Smartphones behind over a third of store walk-outs

In-store customer service that is supported by access to real-time information is more important than ever, finds a Motorola study, thanks to the increasing number of store visitors armed with smartphones.

by Helen Leggatt

motorola logo2.jpgBy the end of 2011, analysts predict smartphone use will outstrip feature phone use. That means more consumers than ever before will have access to retail websites, social networks and apps all while browsing a store.

This has a significant impact on the effectiveness of store staff, found a recent Motorola study, particularly those employed by retailers who have not invested in technology.

It found over half (55%) of retail assistants believe shoppers during the recent holiday period were "better connected to consumer information" than themselves - 17% agreed wholeheartedly and 17% somewhat agreed.

A whopping 87% of retailers admitted it was easy for savvy shoppers to find a better deal elsewhere, and many do. The report found that 39% of store walk-outs are due to customers making checks on their smartphones regarding prices and availability.

"Retailers have put their associates at a significant disadvantage to connected consumers with the majority citing that shoppers are better connected than their in-store associates," said Frank Riso, senior director of retail solutions, Motorola Solutions.

"Retailers need to arm their mobile associates with access to real-time information to level the shopping playing field."

Systems already exist that allow retailers to better enable in-store assistants to interact with consumers and close sales. As well as providing product information and stock levels, some platforms enable in-store assistants to tender transactions from anywhere in the store.

Tags: mobile, retail, smartphone

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