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Monday May 12, 2014 7:25 pm

Smartphones assist buying decisions for 36% of shoppers

Posted by Ariel Levin-Waldman Categories: Smartphones, Misc. Tech

in store shopping apps

The customer service of online shopping. The convenience of a physical store. It might not seem like a winning combination, but the number of people turning away from sales representatives and towards digital apps is rising-- even in brick and mortar stores.

A recent study conducted by financial analytics firm Deloitte has found a massive jump in in-store sales conducted with or aided by mobile and digital technologies. From 2012 to 2013 mobile devices jumped from playing a key role in 5 percent of sales to 19 percent. The use of digital devices in these transactions leaped from 14 percent to 36 percent.

When people go into stores today with a smartphone, they can look up products, reviews, prices and competitors. In the past, you had to make do with a sales representative, and with that the dealer's agenda- to push a product. Half the time I go into a store I do all my research on the spot, whipping out my iPhone to aid my shopping trip.

These are very real numbers. That 19 percent represents $593 billion annually, and that's only the start. Deloitte's study also asked current customers their preferences in making transactions, and 47% would rather use a digital device to find an item in the store and pay for it than go through a human being.

What does this mean for the future? Deloitte has called it a tipping point for retail, where digital sales and in store sales can no longer be considered separate branches. In practical terms this means more shopping apps, more in store networks and easier to use networks. My biggest peeve when trying to get product information and stock availability is having to follow six links through painfully slow cellular when one link off of Google should do.

As the report says, no one wants to spend their time navigating layers of web page interface designed for someone's home computer. And this report is letting your retailers know.

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