Shoppers will become increasingly sophisticated in their use of mobile phones to inform buying decisions and facilitate purchases while in the retail environment, according to new research.
Rather than regarding these shoppers as potential threats, Ogilvy advises marketers to adopt a mobile CRM (mCRM) approach by shifting their perspective from “armed to charmed” and embrace openness and transparency to build trust and maximize long-term customer value.
OgilvyOne and OgilvyAction conducted research among 1,500 shoppers in the US, UK, and Singapore revealing that Innovators are advanced users of mobile phones in the retail environment, foreshadowing mainstream consumer behavior.
85 percent of Innovators searched Google from a phone while in a store to get information on a product. Already 24 percent of the Early Majority are doing this, with the number increasing to 50 percent of the Early Majority who own Smart Phones.
77 percent of Innovators scanned a barcode or QR code with a mobile phone while 19 percent of the Early Majority are already doing this, increasing to 40% of the Early Majority who own Smart Phones.
85 percent of Innovators looked at a product in-store and then ordered it online while 71 percent of innovators looked at a product in-store and then ordered it from a phone while still in the retail environment. While 66 percent of the Early Majority have looked at a product in store and ordered it online, only 8% have ordered it from their phone, suggesting this is an area of growth.
79 percent of Innovators asked a store to match a price by showing a web page from a print-out while 71 percent of Innovators asked a store to match a price by showing a web page from a phone. 45 percent of the Early Majority have asked for a price-match using a web page print-out, but only 12 percent of the Early Majority have used a phone to display a web page at the point of purchase.
While the behavior of the Innovators gives a clue of where the mainstream might be headed, it’s the behavior of the Early Majority that clearly indicates that consumer engagement with mCRM is a trend, not just a fad. We can also observe that mobile activities follow online behavior, which gives us a good way of predicting where mobile behavior in the retail environment is headed,” said Phil Buehler, OgilvyOne New York’s head of planning.
The future of retail is at an interesting inflexion point and marketers should heed the lessons learned from the music industry. Rather than adopt an adversarial approach by taking defensive action, brands and retailers should turn customers from ‘armed to charmed’ by understanding what the unmet shopper needs are and addressing these by offering utility and transparency,” said Martin Lange, Ogilvy’s global head of mobile.
The research showed that “better customer service” and “loyalty points” were the top two reasons that respondents had for “checking into” a retail store. 55 percent of mainstream consumers wanted better customer service while 50 percent seek loyalty points, indicating strong consumer demand for mCRM, the practice of building relationships with customers through the mobile channel.