Consumers today do almost nothing without a mobile device in hand, and shopping in physical stores is no exception.
According to a recent survey conducted by Kelton Global on behalf of RetailMeNot Inc., a leading savings destination, physical retail stores still play a major role in most Americans’ shopping journeys, and some 85 percent of Americans shop in a non-grocery physical retail store during a typical week, visiting up to three stores on average. Baby Boomers visit two stores and Gen X visit 2.75 stores on average. That average goes up to four stores a week among Millennial shoppers and 5.25 among Gen Z, excluding grocery and convenience stores, according to the survey.
“In-store retail is still the most important channel for consumers, and the role that mobile plays in the shopping journey is notable to retailers who want to reach in-store shoppers,” said Marissa Tarleton, chief executive officer of RetailMeNot. “The mobile device is the number-one shopping companion, which is a marketing opportunity for retailers to drive in-store footfall, incentivize sales and understand online-to-offline behavior.”
According to the survey, 69 percent of in-store shoppers would rather consult a product review on their phone than ask a store associate.
Some 53 percent would rather use a mobile device to find deals and offers on products they are considering purchasing than discuss promotions with an in-store associate.
In addition to using their phones as assistants in stores, consumers are leveraging their devices to seek out deals. For example, nearly 49 percent of Americans have an app that collects and provides deals and discounts across retailers on their smartphones. Sixty-five percent of Americans said receiving mobile coupons they can redeem in-store is important when shopping in physical stores. More importantly, 69 percent said receiving a personalized offer on their phone that they can use in-store would make them more likely to visit a physical store locations.
While retail marketers continue to focus on driving e-commerce and mobile sales, there is still major opportunity to drive revenue through offline channels at the physical store level.
While 64 percent of shoppers are completing their purchase in a physical store, they don’t always start there. Data shows that 39 percent of Americans are starting their shopping journey on a mobile device and 14 percent begin on a desktop. Americans are 30 percent more likely to complete a purchase in person than on their smartphone when they find a deal on their phone. And 38 percent of shoppers who begin their journey on a smartphone and 43 percent of shoppers who begin their journey on a desktop complete their purchase in a physical store.
Among the various demographics, Millennials are twice as likely as their older counterparts (48 percent versus 26 percent) to start their shopping journey on a smartphone, and 66 percent of Gen Z say smartphone-assisted shopping is important when they are shopping in a physical store.
“Mobile browsing and research are standard for most shoppers, and a substantial number of consumers are comfortable converting on either that same smartphone device or in a physical store, based on what is convenient to their needs at the time of their journey,” said Tarleton.
The bottom line is that retailers that dedicate marketing resources to engaging mobile shoppers with both online and offline content will be better prepared to meet consumer needs, including those of younger generations, wherever they are in their shopping journey.
RetailMeNot offers savings with retailers, brands, restaurants and pharmacies through online and in-store coupon codes, cash back offers, discount gift cards and the RetailMeNot Genie browser extension.