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Almost half (46%) of UK smartphone owners have used their device to research product information before or during a shopping trip, according to a survey of more than 2,000 consumers by Deloitte Digital.

These numbers tally with a survey of European consumers by Tradedoubler which found that 42% of smartphone owners use their device to compare prices in-store, while 13% claim to have switched stores after finding a better offer elsewhere.

As a result, Deloitte estimates that around 6% of in-store retail sales will be influenced by smartphone use, equivalent to £15.2bn of sales per year.

This is almost double the value of direct purchases made through mobile, which Deloitte puts at £8bn in 2012.

However this might actually be a conservative estimate, as data included in our UK Mobile Statistics Compendium shows that 17% of UK mobile web users say mobile has influenced their in-store purchase. 

Therefore, based on Deloitte’s estimates, mobile may actually be influencing in-store purchases worth up to £45bn per year.

The use of smartphones also appears to increase conversion rates in-store for retailers. According to Deloitte almost three-quarters (74%) of UK shoppers that visited a retailer’s mobile website or app during their most recent shopping trip made a purchase.

This highlights the importance of offering consumers a way to engage with your brand through mobile and also emphasises the need for retailers to install free Wi-Fi in-store so shoppers can easily access the information they need to encourage a purchase.

The impact of mobile on in-store purchases varies depending on the sector. In electronics it influences 10% of sales compared to just 2.9% for convenience stores and 3.8% for supermarkets.

But while 64% of smartphone owners have used their device to make a bank payment or pay a bill, just 1% have used their phone to make an in-store payment.

A similar Deloitte study in the US found that mobile influenced around 5% of sales, which equates to around $159bn of in-store sales.

David Moth

Published 18 September, 2012 by David Moth @ Econsultancy

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

1697 more posts from this author

Comments (2)



very well:)

over 4 years ago


Matt Lovell, Head of Group Analytics & Digital Insight at Thomas Cook Group AirlinesEnterprise

Really interesting. The free Wifi thing is a difficult one for a lot of retailers though as there's a major risk of people going elsewhere unless the store is sure it has the lowest price.

It also flags up the need to have synergy between your online and offline pricing to avoid users using this method to find the cheapest price for each product - does that suggest an end of online exclusives?

over 4 years ago

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