Yes, U.S. smartphone users are showrooming for better deals online, but they are also doing many other things to help them decide whether to make a purchase in-store, a study finds.
Bill Siwicki , Editor, Mobile
Many U.S. smartphone usersare price-sensitive shoppers, using their devices while in stores to see if they can get a better deal elsewhere, particularly online. But many smartphone owners use their devices to do deeper research on products while in the aisles, not necessarily looking for a better deal but simply looking to inform their buying decisions, decisions that may very well lead to making a purchase in stores.
36% of U.S. smartphone users in stores use their devices to compare prices, and 16% conduct specific searches for or directly access online retailers, finds a study of 3,598 smartphone users by mobile and web measurement firm comScore Inc., consultancy The E-tailing Group, and shipper UPS. All of this activity clearly is showrooming, which in this case is the use of mobile devices to compare prices and offers while in a store.
However, smartphone users engage in a variety of activities that show they are seeking additional information of some kind to help them decide whether to buy a product they’re looking at in the aisles of a store, according to the study, including:
9% of U.S. smartphone users place orders on their devices in stores, though the study did not ask if those orders were placed with the retailer whose store a customer was in or with a competing retailer. 14% of smartphone users take pictures of products when in stores, the study also finds.