June 22nd, 2012 by Lloyd Gofton
The study of 2000 smartphone users in UK, France, Germany and Sweden found that 42% of smartphone owners use their device to compare prices in-store , while 13% claim to have switched stores after finding a better offer elsewhere.
However, 50% of UK respondents said they become frustrated with the mobile shopping experience, which shows mobile site development and usability has some way to go before fully capturing the opportunity.
Further evidence from On Device Research (ODR) shows that 60% of mobile users have utilised the mobile internet while in store, 78% would use free Wi-Fi in stores if offered it and 74% of respondents would be happy for the retailer to send a text or email with promotions.
Retailers are waking up to the opportunity and we are seeing more introduce free Wi-Fi connections, including Debenhams, Tesco and John Lewis, each trying to capturing more in-store traffic and push relevant offers via a branded Wi-Fi signal, while hoping to discourage shoppers from using unbranded 3G connections.
According to the Tradedoubler survey, offering location-based services and relevant vouchers helps to secure the interest of a fifth of potential buyers.
The retailers will not have it all their own way though, as they find it harder to control the shopping experience of their customers who have access to many mobile apps and websites that enable the comparison of product prices, including Amazon’s successful app.
However, vouchers and offers can be a strong motivator, and with the full force of the retailer’s marketing machines behind the push, the opportunity to regain the upper hand in online and mobile experiences still exists. Even if retailers are a little late to the game, and are yet to fully roll out mobile sites to enable communication and real engagement on the move.
NFC (Near Field Communication) could be the ace that the retailers have yet to play, and by linking cashless payments to branded mobile shopping sites, those that want to take advantage of this type of payment are likely to be inserted into the retailer’s online assets.
Another blocker remains security, as around half of respondents of the Tradedoubler survey were concerned about the security of mobile as a payment platform, but 42% said they were interested in using their device as a mobile wallet.
Unfortunately, as with all web-based developments, the real barrier remains access to strong, secure and consistent broadband connectivity, and without this the opportunity for retailers falls flat.
This is why we can expect to see more investment in retailer Wi-Fi networks, alongside relevant mobile sites and offers, and it is the quality of these networks that could be the difference between success and failure.