Insights on Marketing & Technology

Mobile’s Impact on In-Store Shoppers: Challenging the Top 3 Myths

Myth or reality? When in-store shoppers take out their smartphones, it means you’ve lost their interest. If you answered “reality,” Google has news for you. In an article recently published in Google’s Think online newsletter, the search giant discloses the truths, based on its research, behind the top three myths surrounding mobile’s impact on brick-and-mortar retail.

  • By: Emily Reynolds
  • Published: 30-11-2014

Here are Google’s top digital/in-store shopping myths and realities—plus Phunware’s take on what it means for you, the retailer.

Search results only send consumers to e-commerce sites.

Reality: Search results can actually drive consumers into stores.

Three out of four shoppers who receive information about local stores through search results are more likely to visit those stores, says Google.

What this means for you: The more information you make available to consumers that will enable their buying process, the more traffic you can drive into your stores.

  • With a website: Ensure your inventory system is connected to your website. Give shoppers the option to find and purchase what they want from your physical store.
  • With a mobile app: Make inventory information available as with a website. Also, use wayfinding technology to get consumers not only into your store, but to the exact location of the item they’re looking for.

When in-store shoppers look at their smartphones, you’ve lost their interest.

Reality: Forty-two percent of in-store shoppers search for information online while in-store. Nearly 50 percent of them ultimately go to the retailer’s website or app.

What this means for you: You have a golden opportunity to connect with in-store shoppers and keep them from going to a competitor by helping them become more informed.

  • With a website: Provide weekly or daily deals, a look at which items are most popular, and product ratings/reviews. (Sixty-four percent of consumers are more likely to shop in stores that provide specific recommendations, Google says.)
  • With a mobile app: Provide highly targeted information to shoppers, enabling them to learn about your products in compelling new ways. Example: A home/kitchen retailer might offer shoppers a brief video about how a new blender works—while they’re standing in the blender department.

Internet-savvy shoppers are extremely well informed before entering a store. 
As a result, they only go to stores for a specific transaction (such as picking up an item ordered online).

Reality: According to Google, 32 percent of shoppers visit stores at the beginning of the decision/buying cycle, and 33 percent do their research in stores to learn more about a product.

What this means for you: With mobile technology, you can impress and engage shoppers early in their buying process and use customized offers to transform their interest into action.

  • With a website: Motivate shoppers early in the buying process through exclusive deals and promotions.
  • With a mobile app: More deeply engage shoppers with contextually relevant coupons and promotions based on their previous purchases and/or their geolocation in the store. For example, offer your returning customers a deal on previously purchased items as they arrive at your doorstep. Display relevant ads from the makers of products you sell—providing shoppers with more offers they’re likely to want while also providing your store with another revenue stream.

Inform. Engage. Motivate.
Google’s research shows that retailers must impress shoppers wherever they are, both online and offline. At a minimum, you need a mobile website to answer their questions and provide product information and buying options. Taking it a step further with a mobile app will help you more deeply inform, engage and motivate your in-store shoppers in ways not possible before. 

Emily Reynolds 
Emily Reynolds is the Content Marketing Manager at Phunware, Inc. Follow her on Twitter @EmJReynolds.

This post originally appeared on, and is published with permission. 

  • Share on Facebook
  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on LinkedIn
  • share with friends
  • Share on Google+

Be the first to like this.


Get access to:
  • Articles and talks
  • Free seminars and briefings
  • Free publications and papers
It is 100% Free


(100 % FREE)