Mobile Less Popular Way to Buy Than in Store, Researchers Say

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Research released today reveals that only a limited number of shoppers are using mobile technologies to buy their goods, despite ongoing investments in a multi-channel approach from retailers.

Shoppercentric, an independent agency specialising in shopper research, has released a report entitled 'Shopping in a Multichannel World' that highlights how only 13 percent of consumers used their smartphone to purchase goods in the past month, and only 7 percent used a tablet.

According to Shoppercentric, 45 percent of all consumers now own a smartphone, and 14 percent own a tablet.

Consumers with smartphones cited a number of reasons as to why they choose to shop in store, rather than through a mobile application or site; 51 percent said they could not experience products effectively, 46 percent blamed poor network coverage and only 29 percent felt it was secure.

Danielle Pinnington, managing director at Shoppercentric, suggested retailers need to invest in ensuring mobile applications can be demonstrably secure, so that consumers can feel as confident shopping on their smartphone as they do on the internet.

"It's the idea of sharing information about yourself that could be used for other purposes that raises a question mark in people's minds about how secure these access points are," said Pinnington.

"They are feeling pretty comfortable with online now, as they know when they pay for things they will get security questions coming through. But they are not seeing this level of security when shopping on smartphones using mobile applications," she added.

"There is an opportunity here for retailers to implement processes to make people feel comfortable with mobile security going forward".

The Shoppercentric research also highlights that although mobile shopping amongst consumers is low, shopping online is popular, with 55 percent of respondents indicating that they had used this channel in the past month.

This indicates that although in-store shopping is still the most popular, consumers are looking to other channels, and Pinnington argues that retailers need to integrate the management of these channels to ensure success.

"The key point is that shoppers are becoming very adept at picking and choosing the channel that suits them under particular circumstances. Yet retailers and brands have tended to compartmentalise - thinking of shoppers who shop versus shoppers who go online. They've even structured themselves so that the shops are managed by one team and the online by another - very few have successfully merged the two," said Pinnington.

"Our data shows that a huge amount of overlap between channels exists - shoppers don't assign individual roles to individual channels. Shoppers don't want them as separate teams, they want them as one seamless team working for them. They just want to approach that team from different angles," she added.

"There would be one overall team - 'the retailer' - and then they would manage different disciplines within that. Running a store is different from running an online retail channel, but they need to be under the same umbrella and aiming towards the same thing".

This story, "Mobile Less Popular Way to Buy Than in Store, Researchers Say" was originally published by Computerworld UK.

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