The shift to mobile retail is obvious to everyone in the industry, but according to a Local Corp. study released Monday (Sept. 30), it's not just research and buying that consumers turn to their mobile devices for. Smartphone use, specifically when looking for a local shop, includes looking for product information, comparing prices, and looking for digital coupons and deals.
"Mobile usage continues to soar and has dramatically changed the local shopping landscape, with 76 percent of consumers accessing store information via their smartphones when researching local stores they want to visit," Michael Sawtell, president and COO of Local Corp., said in a statement.
Overall, customers using their phones for shopping research increased 114 percent year-over-year. For local stores, the benefits are just as dramatic. As many as 60 percent of customers research a local purchase on their phone before going to a store, and 48 percent of all consumers researching a purchase on their phone intend to make that purchase in the short term.
That means many shoppers are ready to make a move when they're researching your store on their phone, and if you're not catering to them you're probably missing out.
"Today's savvy shoppers are using their smartphones to research pricing and product information to make informed shopping decisions, with the majority also checking product availability, which is directly impacting their purchase decisions," Sawtell said. "As a result, retailers need to take notice and adjust their engagement strategies to fit the evolving needs of the connected consumer."
One example of a finding that retailers should take notice of? The study found that 82 percent of shoppers researching a purchase on their phone spend up to 15 minutes looking for the best price. Pouring time and money into making sure your business is the first one that consumers find when searching locally is all well and good, but the modern customer sees past that. If your business can't move beyond outdated ideas of local mobile search, they might look past your stores, too.