NEWS9 July 2015

Slow take-up of smartphone use in shops

News UK

UK — While 70% of UK shoppers own a smartphone only 30% of smartphone owners have used it to shop in the past month and this type of phone use has increased only 9% in the past two years.


Using apps for shopping has some way to go: one in three smartphone owners have shopped with an app but only one in 10 of all smartphone users regularly use apps as part of the purchase process. More than twice as many shoppers head for a website on their smartphone when in-store, rather than an app according to shopper research agency, Shoppercentric, in its report ‘WindowOn…Connected Shoppers’.

Other findings from the report include:

  • Of those who don’t regularly use a smartphone as part of the purchase process, 36% expect to in the future. These future users are less involved in technology and are more likely to be 45+ or C2DE.
  • 25- to 34-year-olds are the most likely to have used a smartphone for shopping in the past month.
  • In-store smartphones are used for sharing ideas the most ( 47%) followed by comparing prices ( 29%) and product information ( 20%). Sharing photos, taking pictures as a reminder, store location and browsing (with no intention to purchase) were all cited by 17% of respondents.

Danielle Pinnington, managing director at Shoppercentric, said: “One in three shoppers want the shopper process made easier so there’s a real need to better connect, especially since – as our research shows – shoppers really are willing and open to this approach, but only if there’s a clear benefit to them and a seamless process. We cannot rely on smartphone connections alone and must remember the numerous other touchpoints that shoppers use when shopping.

“Smartphones have allowed shoppers to achieve the ultimate in self-service, able to manage and personalise their process to a certain degree. Yet there are times when retailers or brands could and should step in and deliver personal touches to help them get it right the first time.” 

The report is based on 1,000 online interviews with UK adult ( 16+) shoppers. Nationally representative quotas were placed on gender, age, social grade and geography. Two focus groups of early technology adopters who use their smartphone as part of the purchase process were also carried out.



9 years ago

Retailers rarely acknowledge the internet in-store. It's almost as though the internet does not exist and the two worlds are completely separate. Shoppers have not embraced smartphones as part of the in-store experience. I think it's mainly because it takes time to locate the smartphone, fire it up, check the connection etc., but also because retailers are not prompting the behaviour. I agree with Danielle's point that a more seamless process is needed for people to be able to access and share information to empower purchases. In future, wearable devices like Smartwatches will be more convenient and accessible for shoppers to use.

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9 years ago

Couldn't agree more, Steve. Smartwatches will make a difference, as will the use of smartphones as a payment tool, as long as the content shared with shoppers is useful in the purchase process. It's important to remember that in-store communication should really focus on changing behaviour, rather than attitudes, and that is something businesses still aren't necessarily getting right.

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