Mobile is often cited as the glue that holds together the multichannel experience as the technology is able to bridge the gap between in-store and online channels.

And it tends to be the retailers that were quick to embrace mobile technologies – such as local search or a mobile optimised site - that have continued to thrive and stay in tune with consumer behaviours.

For example, the new Econsultancy Multichannel Retail Survey shows that 44% of smartphone owners have used their mobile to find details about a retailer (e.g. nearest outlet or opening times), up from 32% in 2012.

But as we’ve previously seen, many businesses are failing to take advantage of the opportunities afforded by the increase in mobile search.

Have you used your mobile to find a retailer’s nearest store, opening times etc.?

In fact, data from Google's Mobile Search Moments Study shows that:

  • 40% of mobile searches have local intent.
  • Shopping queries are twice as likely to take place while the user is in-store.
  • Three out of four mobile searches trigger follow-up actions, whether that be further research, a store visit, a phone call, a purchase or word-of-mouth sharing.
  • More than half (55%) of conversions from mobile search take place within the hour, while 81% of conversions occur within five hours.

Prices and reviews

The survey also asked smartphone owners whether they had used their mobile to compare prices and look at product reviews while out shopping, also known as ‘showrooming’.

The results show that 40% of respondents had used their mobile while out shopping, which is actually a slight decline on 2012. Even so, the number of people showrooming is still twice as high as it was in 2011 (19%).

Have you used your mobile to compare prices and look at product reviews while out shopping?

The threat of showrooming is something that retailers can’t ignore, so more should be done to try and embrace this consumer behaviour.

In previous posts we’ve looked at ways in which shops can take advantage of showrooming, such as by offering free in-store Wi-Fi or allowing customers to access online product reviews.

To find out more about how to create seamless multichannel experiences, come to Econsultancy's JUMP event on October 9. Now in its fourth year, JUMP will be attended by more than 1,200 senior client-side marketers. This year it forms part of our week-long Festival of Marketing extravaganza.

David Moth

Published 4 September, 2013 by David Moth

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

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