Many mobile users visit stores to check out products they plan to buy online; here's how to turn them into customers
Called "showrooming" shoppers, they strike fear into brick-and-mortar retailers, especially with the holiday season approaching. By visiting stores on recon missions to validate online purchasing decisions, they're demoting physical storefronts into mere stepping-stones.
Showrooming shoppers damage egos and profits, but according to research from mobile marketers at Vibes, stores and brands can harness the power of showrooming for their own good by implementing a smart mobile strategy.
Vibes' research shows that mobile technology plays a vital role for today's in-store shoppers:
- 84% of showrooming shoppers have conducted in-store product research via smartphone
- Nearly half of all consumers feel more confident about their purchasing decisions after pulling up additional product information on their mobile phones
- 33% admitted to searching a competitor's website for better deals while in-store
Some good news for traditional retailers: Just 6% of consumers said they were likely to abandon an in-store purchase for a competing offer.
Where do retailers go from here? According to Vibes, retailers should respond to these challenges by building intelligent mobile strategies of their own.
The mobile opportunity
A decade ago, retailers had to establish online marketplaces in response to the ecommerce boom; today they have to address the empowered mobile consumer.
"Retailers are beginning to counter showrooming shoppers through targeted mobile advertising," says Patrick Albano, Yahoo! VP, Mobile Sales at Yahoo! "They can engage in-store customers with creative, relevant offers as they are considering a purchase and motivate them to buy right there in the store."
To prevent competitors from stealing sales, brick-and-mortar retailers should provide access to all the information shoppers are looking for on their phones and tablets. This means mobile-optimized websites and applications that are as helpful and resourceful as the sales staff walking the aisles.
And as TIME columnist Brad Tuttle noted, a well-crafted mobile experience could at least cushion the blow of waning in-store sales by funneling shoppers toward the retailer's ecommerce site.
If you're looking to build a smart mobile strategy, we can help. More than 70 million mobile and tablet users connect with Yahoo! properties each month, which gives us a rich understanding of the interests, passions, and purchase intent of mobile audiences.