Given the popularity of online shopping, it has been thought that brick and mortar retailers are increasingly becoming more like product “showrooms” than places for commerce. But with a new study from Telmetrics and xAd that said 77% of smartphone retail shoppers ultimately made their purchases in-store, the “showrooming” trend does not seem as detrimental to the retail industry as originally thought.
The study, which was conducted by Nielsen, found that only 6 percent of smartphone users actually conducted their most recent mobile retail search in a physical store. In addition, 57 percent of smartphone users expect retailers to be within five miles of their location and the majority of tablet users (21 percent) sought coupons/offers with their device. The low percentage using mobile devices to search in-store and the high percentage seeking location and coupons suggests that the majority of mobile usage is actually taking place at the beginning of the purchase cycle.
In addition, the study found that the majority of mobile retail shoppers are ready to buy, with 55 percent ultimately making a purchase. Similarly, 30 percent of smartphone users and 25 percent of tablet users intended to make a purchase within an hour.
Given the data, retailers looking to combat “showrooming” by matching online prices or cutting off access to in-store Wi-Fi should instead be focused on gaining share of the ready-to-buy consumers that are conducting retail research on their mobile devices.
For more information, check out the official press release. Also, below is a great infographic courtesy of Telmetrics and xAd that highlights the mobile path-to-purchase for the retail industry.