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why local stores should be taking advantage of the digital shopping journey

The digital shopping process is more intricate than it looks. And while many studies focus on analysing the impact of mobile devices on shopping based on the shopper buying from his/her device, consumers are actually inspired to visit local stores after successfully finding out vital information, such the availability of an item in-store, operation hours, store location, and pricing at an easily accessible retail location.

 

But when such information is not available, one in four shoppers says that they would not visit a nearby retail location to avoid the risk of missing the item they’re looking for. So, retailers could actually do more to boost sales from mobile in transit by making their business available and accessible for prospective customers during that phase of the consumer journey.

 

Engaging with consumers en-route

 

A new report by the Centre for Retail Research, about 11 percent of consumers surveyed made purchases whilst travelling to work, spending between £10 and £200. A similar survey in the US revealed that 16 percent of consumers start their purchase journey online – researching voucher and discount codes, checking prices, or reading product reviews.

 

While PCs still account for majority of online purchases – 89 percent – studies show that mobile is increasingly influencing the rest of the purchase journey. Tablets and smartphones now account for around 30 percent of purposes in the customer journey, with one in five consumers shopping on a regular basis via their smartphone, and 14 percent using it as their main shopping device.

 

So, what is holding back retailers?

 

There are some believes that prevent retailers from enhancing the digital experience for consumers, including:

 

1. Search results only direct shoppers to e-commerce sites.

 

The truth is, search results can also drive shoppers to stores. In fact, three out of four consumers, who find useful/helpful local information in search results, are more likely to visit stores. This is because consumers are more inspired to visit a store after successfully finding out helpful information, such as item availability, working hours, prices, location, etc.

 

2. It is hard for retailers to retain the attention of in-store consumers once they start using their mobile devices.

 

Everything is going digital, but retailers will not lose out if they can grab the attention of prospective customers through search results, their mobile site, or app. Studies show that about 42 percent of in-store customers search for information online while in the store. This is great if the source of information is your website or app.

 

Consumers will continue to use their mobile devices to research or compare prices, so they’re better informed about a purchase, but not to necessarily make the purchase online.

 

Retailers that provide useful local information through search and online presence (a mobile website) will be able to increase their reach and engagement with those tech savvy shoppers.

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