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The need for effective Retail Mobile Strategies is now


Study shows consumers are using their phones for browsing, buying, and ‘showrooming’


Alongside efforts to grow as effective e-tailers, retailers are now tasked with the challenge of effectively connecting with customers via the mobile platform…and the clock is ticking. Results from a recent study conducted by Vision Critical reveal that US smartphone consumers are already engaging their phones in retail situations—including comparison shopping—highlighting the need for retailers to focus on mobile strategy as soon as possible.

In the past 30 days, three-in-five smartphone owners (59%) have browsed products or services on their phones, and one-in-four (27%) have purchased a product or service using their mobile device. Consumers are also comparison shopping while in-store (32%), further enhancing the growing trend of ‘showrooming’, or shopping in-store then buying online or through their mobile devices.


“Mobile is changing the playing field for retail—consumers are using the vast amount of knowledge available to them through their phones to help get the best value for their dollar,” says David Gardner, Vice President of Consumer, Retail & Shopper Insights at Vision Critical. “Retailers need to understand and embrace this behavior, and leverage the mobile platform as a way to connect and drive engagement with their customer base.”

Other notable mobile behavior in the past month includes nearly a third (30%) using a location-based service for check-in, and one-in-four either presenting a coupon or ticket via their phone (25%) or scanning a QR code (23%).

“As much as possible, use the mobile platform to optimize the customer’s experience while in-store, in an effort to minimize ‘showrooming’ or leaving to purchase elsewhere,” advices Gardner. “At Vision Critical, we’ve optimized our online survey platform for smartphones, enhancing the overall survey experience for those respondents who are on the go.”

Consumer adoption of mobile devices—smartphones and tablet computers—is at its highest. Vision Critical has implemented a comprehensive mobile strategy with two main elements: mobile optimized questions specially designed to address the limited real estate inherent in a smartphone device; and the ability to reach the broadest possible swathe of smartphone owners by operating on both touch and non-touch devices.

The data featured in this release was conducted by the integrated Consumer, Retail and Shopper Insights Team of Vision Critical. Results are based on a national online study conducted in the USA (July 9 -16, 2012). The total sample size is 455 adults 18+ who own a smartphone. The margin of error for this sample size is +/- 4.6%, 19 times out of 20.

About Vision Critical
Vision Critical pairs the world’s leading market research specialists with the most innovative software developers, marrying the precision of market research with the speed and power of online technology. Serving over 600 global brands through offices across North America, Europe, Asia and Australia, Vision Critical creates powerful software and research solutions like the world’s leading Community Panel platform. For more information, please visit and follow Vision Critical on Twitter at @VisionCritical.