Mobile Enhances Shopping, Motorola Says

Increased ability to use smart phones as a shopping aid is arguably a mixed blessing for retailers. On one hand, it arguably can be helpful if shoppers can use their mobiles to compare products features and get reviews while inside a retail outlet.

On the other hand, when shoppers have the ability to compared prices with other rival retailers while in a store, they might sometimes decide to buy elsewhere. But there are lots of other ways retailers can use in-store technology to their benefit, a new study suggests

Still, some 75 percent of 393 surveyed retailers say mobile technology creates a better in-store experience, according to a survey by Motorola Solutions. Separately, 67 percent of surveyed shoppers reported higher satisfaction when retailers provided mobile support.

According to the survey, more than eight in ten (83.3 percent) surveyed retail associates and managers believe that shoppers can easily find a better deal so customer service is more important than ever. Mobile makes a big difference

From a shopper perspective, 33 percent of shopping trips ended with shoppers leaving before satisfying their intent to purchase, costing an average of $125 per trip, Motorola Solutions estimates.

Of those lost opportunities, more than 73 percent did not complete their purchases with the original retailer.

Online purchases also grew by more than 18 percent compared to 2010 and 63 percent of surveyed shoppers with smart phones downloaded some type of shopping application.

About 41 percent of shoppers were not satisfied with the ability to receive in-stock status in-store compared to 20 percent were not happy with that same feature online.

Approximately 27 percent of shoppers were not satisfied with the ease of finding correct prices in-store versus approximately 14 percent online similarly dissatisfied on that score, when online.

About 42 percent of shoppers were not satisfied with the check-out process in-store compared to 15 percent who were online and checking out. Online shoppers cited a much higher dissatisfaction rate (41 percent compared to 25 percent) for the return/exchange process, providing a significant advantage for in-store retailers.

Though many retailers will consider this a disadvantage, not an advantage, some 61 percent of shoppers believe that they were better connected to consumer information, including coupons, competitive pricing and product availability than store associates, when they used their mobiles.

But mobile “self help” tools arguably are helpful to retailers. The vast majority of shoppers reported that self-help technologies improved their shopping experience. About 83 percent said they used a price checker,  while self-checkout payment lanes (65 percent) and information kiosks (59 percent) also were mentioned as ways to add value.

Almost four in ten (38 percent) shoppers would be likely to use a retailer’s wireless internet access to search for product information and post to the web while shopping.

More than four in ten (43 percent) shoppers would likely use a store application on their smart phones that creates a map from a shopping list to guide them through the store on the most efficient route to complete their shopping.

Significantly, the Motorola studies suggest 33 percent of store visits ended with an average of $125 unspent due to missed opportunities to purchase driven by inefficient payment approaches, desire for deals, out-of-stock conditions and limited store associate assistance.

Some 68 percent of lost sales could have been recaptured if a retail associate was able to order the item and have it delivered to the shopper’s home.

Almost 55 percent of shoppers would have made their purchases if an associate could find another location that had the item in stock and told them how to get there.

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