Smartphone use in stores can help -- and hurt -- retailers

Take a stroll through the aisles of a retail store, and chances are you’ll see someone looking at their smartphone. Nearly eight out of ten shoppers turn to their devices to assist them when shopping in physical retail stores, according to a Holiday shopping survey of 3,000 US consumers by Deloitte, charted for us by Statista.

What do they do on their phones? Roughly 55 per cent of shoppers use their phones inside a store to compare prices. This so-called “showrooming” by shoppers has caused panic among some retailers worried that in-store smartphone use is bad for business.

But it appears that smartphones are also helping retailers. The number one reason for using smartphones was to look up store locations, according to the survey. And 45% of consumers use their phones to get product information and to get or use coupons. For retailers, the invasion of smartphones in stores means both risk and opportunity.

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