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Smartphones Are A Holiday Shopping Aid, Not A Store Replacement

Deck the halls with beacons? Delivering relevant info to mobile consumers during the in-store moment will be crucial this holiday season, a GPShopper survey finds.

Consumer reliance on smartphones as an in-store aid will continue this holiday season, as 83 percent will use their mobile phones to research products, compare prices, or access mobile coupons while doing their holiday shopping, according to GPShopper/comScore’s 2015 Holiday Mobile Shopping Survey.

While mCommerce is certainly a significant piece of the holiday puzzle, especially on Cyber Monday, the key takeaway is that a majority of smartphone users plan to shop in-store with their phones — not use them to replace the in-store experience.

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And in addition to an increased reliance on easy access to product reviews and prices, a significant number of holiday shoppers will look to app-based offerings as they make their purchases; 49 percent say they will use mobile coupons while shopping, and 37 percent want easy access to their loyalty account.

”Mobile phones have never been more important to holiday shoppers than they are this holiday season; the phone has really become a personal shopping assistant,” says Bill Siwicki, VP of Mobile Strategy and Research at GPShopper. “Retailers need to ensure their apps and sites provide all the tools mobile shoppers need to shop during the holidays, or risk losing shoppers to competitors with better mobile offerings.”

In other words, retailers can deck the halls — but they had best focus on their mobile “decorations” as much as much as the physical ones. Delivering relevant offers at optimal in-store moments — as retailers like Macy’s and Target are aiming to do with beacon programs — is key, as is developing an omnichannel strategy that delivers a coherent shopping journey across devices.

“Using mobile to integrate online shopping and store shopping is absolutely key to fulfilling a true omnichannel strategy; mobile is the bridge between the online and offline worlds,” Siwicki says. “Retailers need to be using mobile to make loyalty programs more robust in-store. 37 percent of mobile shoppers say loyalty is a key app/site feature they will use during holiday shopping. And there are all kinds of mobile-based strategies to bring online shoppers into stores. For example, retailers can create mobile-exclusive offers communicated only by push notification, and these offers can be redeemed only in-app or in-store, thus catering to the highly mobile shopper while also driving traffic into stores.”

About The Author
Lauryn Chamberlain Lauryn Chamberlain @laurynchamberla

Lauryn Chamberlain is the Associate Editor of GeoMarketing.com. A New York City based journalist, she specializes in stories related to retail, dining, hospitality, and travel.