58% of Mobile Owners Use Their Phones for High Street Shopping Assistance

4th February 2013

New research by Pew Internet has shown that in the run up to Christmas, nearly 6 in 10 mobile phone owners used their mobile phones whilst shopping in-store up and down the high streets.

A survey taken in January showed that in the final weeks of 2012 around 46% of shoppers used their phone whilst in store to call friends or family for advice when purchasing their gifts.

Meanwhile, 28% used their phone whilst in-store to look up product reviews online to see whether what they were considering buying had more good or bad reviews.

27% used online price comparison tools to compare the price of the product they were looking at in-store with prices online or prices in other high-street retailers.

The study concluded that overall 58% of mobile phone owners used their phone for at least one of the above reasons at some point during the Christmas shopping period.

Source: Marketing Land (2013)

Statistics were much higher for the 18-29 age range, where 78% of used their phone for one of the above reasons.  Unsurprisingly, statistics were also much high for owners of smartphones as opposed to just a regular mobile.  72% of smartphone owners used their phone for one of these purposes during the festive season.

A deeper look at the data shows that out of the 27% that used a price comparison tool on their phone, whilst in-store, only 46% purchased that product there and then in that store.  30% decided not to purchase the product at all, 12% went home and purchased the product online, and 6% purchased the product at a different store.

This shows that a consumer having the ability to look up reviews and price comparisons whilst in store is having a slight negative impact on whether the product is then purchased.  Given that the figures have grown from a similar survey taken at the end of 2011, it would suggest that high-street stores need to focus heavily on mobile marketing campaigns  and actively deal with the situation of customers using their phones in-store to influence their purchasing decisions.


Robin James