Always dreamed of having a personal shopper? You probably already have one...in the palm of your hand.
A new survey by Perception Research Services International, a company that specializes in shopper
research, found 76% of smartphone owners use their devices for shopping purposes.
The survey notes “53% of smartphone owners rely on their devices to compare prices, 49%
to read customer reviews, 48% to search for product information, 48% to check for sales or
coupons, 37% to get product information from a manufacturer’s site, 34% to get a friend or
family member’s opinion, 31% to make a purchase, 31% to enter a contest, and 17% to view
a product demonstration.” Out of the 1,450 American adults surveyed, over half owned a
Consumers use their smartphones when shopping for a range of products, including electronics,
clothing, computers/software, groceries, cosmetics, furniture and appliances, cosmetics and
personal care products, office supplies, home decor, and pet supplies among other items. QR
codes are among the most popular mobile commerce options, with consumers using codes to
learn more about products and promotions, participate in loyalty programs and receive rewards,
read customer reviews, and obtain store addresses.
“Retailers and manufacturers need to adapt to a world in which shoppers are armed with a
tremendous amount of information at their fingertips—about the brand to choose, the price
to pay and the place to buy,” notes Jonathan Asher, executive vice president at Perception
Research Services International. “Retailers know they will continue to lose a certain amount of
sales to online purchases, and they must accept that some showrooming will occur. The key is
to find ways to capitalize on those opportunities in which shoppers are in their store examining
products, and make it compelling for them to make purchases there rather than go online—or to
some other retailer—to do so.”
Marketers are therefore encouraging shoppers to buy new products or services based on
previous purchases and shopping patterns. Companies such as shopkick and Paypal are
utilizing Bluetooth-enabled beacons to link consumer in-store data to mobile marketing. Taking
advantage of location-based technologies and tracking buyer history has subsequently made
recommending products and services to consumers easy and efficient. Even third-party
manufacturers can benefit.
Beacon hardware manufacturer Roximity is developing marketing technology that leverages
beacons. For instance, a supermarket using Roximity’s technology could allow a third-party
brand, such as Dole, to utilize its beacon network for a particular promotion.
Startup companies are quickly getting on board with location-based technology, using mobile
not only to help consumers find their businesses, but to add understand what products
customers like and how to incentivize greater purchases.