What are consumers doing with their smartphones and tablets when they're out shopping (possibly in your store)? A recent study by Prosper Mobile Insights found the latest trend is "cross-shopping." Some 40 percent of respondents say they have compared prices and then left to purchase an item from another retailer’s physical store (the top use of mobile devices in-store). And 25.6 percent say they have compared prices, then purchased from another retailer’s website via a smartphone or tablet -- while still in the initial store.
The good news is that these weren't the only uses of mobile devices in-store. About 35 percent of shoppers have used their devices to read product reviews to help them make purchasing decisions. Thirty percent have compared prices and then made a purchase from the same retailer. About 29 percent have scanned a QR code to get more information about a product. And 26.7 percent have “checked in” to get a discount.
Why it matters to your business: No matter how loyal you think your retail customers are, in today's economy, consumers want to get the best deal -- and they're using every available tool to get it. If you are concerned about mobile devices stealing business from your store, you need to offer better service, more personalized assistance and other extras to keep customers in-store. Also make sure that your business is visible in local search results and that you encourage your customers to leave ratings and reviews of your business using sites like Yelp, so when consumers do search for information, your store comes up in their results with a positive rating.