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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : October 16, 2013

Dramatic drop in number of smartphone owners making regular store trips

Much as the hype surrounding mobile shopping and showrooming might suggest, consumers haven't completely abandoned shopping in-store. However, research carried out among UK consumers shows that in-store shopping levels, and the frequency with which smartphone-wielding shoppers visit stores, has dropped considerably in the last three years.

by Helen Leggatt

It's not news that smartphone owners are increasingly using their device to shop, numerous studies have shown how showrooming and on-the-go shopping has become popular as smartphone adoption rises.

shopping behavior.pngHowever, there has been a dramatic drop in the number of smartphone owners making regular, weekly in-store purchases - down to 47% this year compared to 73% in 2010. Those figures parallel UK smartphone adoption which as risen from 38% in 2010 to 62% today.

In-store shopping hasn't been completely shunned by smartphone owners - just 3% say they do not now frequent brick-and-mortar venues - but consumers now visit stores on a much less regular basis.

Instead of visiting a store purely to make a purchase, many are using such trips as part of research, hence the increasing trend for 'showrooming'. Recent research from Vibes found that 44% of consumers frequently showroom and 36% now use their mobile device in-store more than they did a couple of years ago.

Derek Eccleston, Commercial Director at eDigitalResearch believes that, "In order to survive this mobile online revolution, retailer stores need to be innovating, bringing their sometimes more popular digital channels in store to help enhance their customer experience and create a dynamic, exciting and vibrant environment that will keep customers returning through their doors".

The eDigitalResearch and Portaltech Reply research also revealed changing shopping behavior across product categories. While 60% of UK consumers purchased entertainment products in-store in 2010, just 35% did so in 2013. Similar trends are also evident in DIY (70% vs. 45%) and furniture items (64% vs. 33%).

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: consumer research, in-store, mobile, retail, showrooming trends, UK

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