Study Finds: Retailers Are Not Providing Smartphone-Equipped Shoppers What They Need
More and more consumers are using their smartphones to help them shop and many are walking into retail stores armed with their mobile device. Unfortunately for many retailers many of these shoppers are walking out of stores carrying no more than they came in with, in other words, they are not buying anything in the store. A recent Retrevo Pulse Study asked shoppers about their experience in the store and how they use their mobiles when they shop. The findings indicate a change will be necessary in the way retailers accommodate these savvy new shoppers.
Many Consumers Install Retailers’ Apps, But Few Say They Help

  • The good news: Consumers are enthusiastic about using mobile shopping tools and appear willing to install retailers’ apps which can be seen in the number of smartphone owners (43%) who have installed and used a retailer’s app.
  • The bad news: Only 14% of those who installed them say the app helped them buy something. “Retrevo’s findings indicate that customers are willing to download and use retailer’s mobile apps,” says Manish Rathi, Retrevo.com’s Co-Founder and Vice President of Marketing, “but when only 14% of the installed base actually indicates it ‘helped them buy something’, it’s time for retailers to rethink their mobile engagement strategy. In today’s market where many brick and mortar retailers are trying to stay competitive, retailers can’t afford to merely serve as a showroom for Amazon.” (For further reading about Retrevo's insights about mobile in-store retail, click here to download the white paper).

Smartphone Owners Are the Biggest Challenge

Unfortunately for retailers all too often their stores are used as showrooms for online merchants as this study found nearly two-thirds (66%) of respondents indicate they have looked at a product in a store and then made the purchase online from somewhere else. The number of “defectors” jumps to more than three quarters (78%) for smartphone owners who may have an easier time doing research wherever they happen to be.

Best Buy might have it worse than Big 5 Sporting Goods as electronics appears to be the category mentioned most (58%) as the type of product checked out in the store and purchased somewhere else online. The next category on this list is shoes (41%) followed by apparel (39%). It’s clear that retailers need to aggressively find a way to persuade smartphone owners to make their purchases in the store or at least buy from them online.

Gadget Shoppers Feel Overwhelmed at the Store
Have you ever gone shopping for a TV or some other electronics product and felt overwhelmed by that wall of TV screens or the row of cameras on display? Were you able to find a knowledgeable sales person or the right information to help you make a decision? Did you end up leaving the store in frustration? Over half (53%) the respondents in this study said they’ve had the experience of going to the store to buy an electronics product but couldn’t decide what to buy. The most common reason cited (30%) for this was not having the information they needed (online prices, reviews, specs, etc.) followed by feeling overwhelmed by the number of choices. Many also felt the salesperson was of little help. Could the right app with the right info help make, at least, the smartphone-equipped shoppers feel less overwhelmed and more confident in their choice of products?

Smartphones Could Be Retailers’ Best Friend
Smart shoppers are tapping away at their smartphones and tablets at home and in the store to help them decide what to buy and where to find the best price. More than half the smartphone respondents in this study indicated they have used a mobile device in a store to help them buy something. Most of those used their phones to check prices and get coupons but many also looked up ratings and reviews on products they were considering buying before making the big decision.
As more consumers become smartphone owners, retailers will have to recognize the challenges this group of savvy shoppers represents. Smartphones don’t have to be the enemy of retailers. “Our message to retailers,” says Rathi, “is: “Get your app together! A carefully crafted app can help provide consumers the information they need to make them want to buy something.”
About Retrevo Pulse Report
The Retrevo Pulse Report is an ongoing study of tech industry trends conducted for the consumer electronics shopping and review site, Retrevo.com. The data for this report came from a study of online individuals conducted exclusively for Retrevo in October of 2011, by an independent panel. The sample size was over 1,000 distributed across gender, age, income and location in the United States. Most responses have a confidence interval of 4% at a 95% confidence level.
About Retrevo

Retrevo.com is one of the largest consumer electronics review and shopping sites in the world, helping people decide what to buy, when to buy, and where to buy. Retrevo uses artificial intelligence to analyze and graphically summarize more than 100 million real-time data points from across the web to give shoppers the most comprehensive, unbiased, up-to-date product information they need to make smart, confident purchasing decisions for electronics.

Retrevo's further ideas about mboile in-store shopping are outlined in thier new white paper. Click Here to download it. 

To contact Retrevo’s press department about this study, please email: press “at” retrevo “dot” com.

To download graphics for this article, Click Here.

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Iam Smartphone Owner too.

Iam Smartphone Owner too.


This is an advertising campaign to get retailers into thinking that they need to do something. Do not fall for it. Very few people with these phones shop in your stores and it is a waste of time and energy. Truth is Andrew was paid by the phone industry to write this article with fabricated numbers. Nice article Andrew, try some other suckers.