man shopping with mobile device

It wasn’t long ago traditional retailers were worried about mobile shopping and what it meant for the future of bricks and mortar organisations. Research into mobile shopping behaviour shows consumer habits aren’t as predictable as once thought. While more and more shoppers access mobile apps for shopping, it’s becoming apparent they’re not about to abandon in-store shopping. This changing behaviour presents new challenges for retailers.

Human behaviour is changing

It’s easy to focus on the seismic shift mobile is having on retail but the real change relates to human behaviour more than consumer behaviour. Mobile devices have become an extension of our arm and are continually present regardless of the activity. Nielsen recently reported on the trend of people multi-tasking while watching TV. Approximately 66% of TV viewers were simultaneously conducting shopping activities including:

  • Shopping (33%)
  • Investigating product information based on advertisements (20%)
  • Looking for coupons or deals based on advertisements (13%)

This information supports a theory that mobile devices are stretching the retailers advertising dollar and keeping people in a shopping mode even during times normally dedicated to relaxation.

Shoppers want help making decisions

A new report from SiteWorx titled 2013 State of Mobile Features and Functionality shows people aren’t actually purchasing with mobile devices. Only 4% of the shoppers surveyed used their tablets to make purchases. Even less, just 3.4%, said they’d used their smartphone to transact business.

The main driver for people making purchases after using a mobile device is for product reviews. The second most popular use for mobile in the shopping process is price comparisons. Interestingly, the survey also showed most shoppers using a smart phone don’t want an app from their retailers but would rather have a mobile-friendly retailer website.

Shopping continues to occur in bricks and mortar

In an article about mobile shopping at MediaPost, Chuck Martin reports women shoppers prefer to shop in a retail store but are likely to use a mobile device to enhance their in-store experience. More than half (58%) said they would like to receive a personalised offer while shopping in a store. Surprisingly, 83% said they would be willing to provide their location information for a $15 in-store credit.

The store is everywhere

In Doug Stephen’s new book, The Retail Revival: Reimagining business in the new age of consumerism, he describes a ‘third shelf’, an addition to the 1) store shelf and the 2) home shelf. The third shelf is a digital shelf created when technology blurs the lines between physical stores, online stores and mobile apps. Not only are consumers purchasing from the digital shelf, they’re also using social media sites like Pinterest and Facebook to display their purchases.

Consumers easily move from physical stores to a digital shopping experience and often combine the two experiences.Retailers must ensure their promotional signage and ticketing in the store matches the information found online. When inconsistencies in pricing information occur, trust with the shopper is damaged.

What this means for retailers

Shopping is becoming a blended experience of mobile access and in-store visits. Technology has changed human behaviour and that affects shopping behaviour. People view mobile devices as research tools and use them to supplement their shopping experience. Shoppers are looking for information about your products and are most likely to reference your website. It’s imperative your in-store ticketing and promotional signage is consistent throughout your digital footprint. This includes your website, mobile apps, and your social media channels including Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.

If you’d like to discuss your enterprise-wide ticketing challenges, give us a call. We’re happy to share our insight about how you can build trust and get closer to your customers with retail ticketing.

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This post originally appeared on the SignIQ blog and is republished with permission.