Smartphones to influence 5.1% of retail store sales in 2012

Telecom Lead America: Smartphones influence 5.1 percent
of annual retail store sales, translating into $159 billion in forecasted sales
for 2012.

Deloitte said mobile’s influence, based on consumers’
smartphone use, will grow to represent 19 percent of total store sales by 2016,
amounting to $689 billion in mobile-influenced sales.  

By comparison, direct mobile commerce sales will pass the
$30 billion mark by that time, according to industry estimates.

“Mobile devices’ influence on retail store sales has
passed the rate at which consumers purchase through their devices today,”
said Alison Paul, vice chairman, Deloitte LLP and retail & distribution
sector leader.

“Consumers’ store-related mobile activities are
contributing to – not taking away from in-store sales, and our research
indicates that smartphone shoppers are 14 percent more likely to convert and
make a purchase in the store than non-smartphone users.  This means that
mobile is an important tool for retailers to incrementally drive traditional
in-store sales, strengthening the relationship between retailer and consumer to
increase engagement and loyalty,” Paul added.

48 percent of smartphone owners surveyed say their phones have influenced their
decision to purchase an item in a store, and the study shows that consumers’
smartphone use tends to be highest at or near the point of purchase. 

Based on Deloitte’s survey, more than 6 out of 10 (61
percent) of smartphone owners who use their devices to shop have done so while
shopping at the store, and more than half (52 percent) reach for their phones
on the way to the store.

Smartphone-toting consumers appear more likely to make a
purchase than those who do not own one or do not use it to assist in-store

When asked about their most recent shopping trip, nearly
three-quarters (72 percent) of smartphone owners surveyed indicated they made a
purchase on that day, compared with 63 percent of respondents who did not use a

Smartphone users were also more likely to eventually make
a purchase: among those who did not buy anything on their last trip, 59 percent
of those who used a smartphone eventually made a purchase, compared to only 22
percent of those who did not use one.  

Nearly 37 percent smartphone owners surveyed who used a
smartphone on their last shopping trip utilized a third-party mobile shopping
application, and 34 percent used a retailer’s mobile application.

“Retailers that do not engage shoppers through
specialized mobile applications or targeted smartphone-based promotions leave
the door open for competitors to reach a customer who is standing in the
retailer’s store and at the point of purchase,” said Kasey Lobaugh,
principal and direct-to-consumer and multichannel leader, Deloitte Consulting.

As consumers buy smartphones, they are quick to tap their
devices for shopping assistance, with smartphone use for store-related shopping
increasing 40 percent after the first six months of ownership, according to
Deloitte’s survey.  Once these consumers are on board, they consistently
use their phones for 50 to 60 percent of their store shopping trips, depending
on the store category. 

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