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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Smartphones increasingly used as shopping tools

Smartphones are increasingly seen as a utility tool for more and more shoppers, according to this story from today’s Marketing Daily (click to link).

Implications: Once upon a time, if the shopper was in your store, the work was half done. But now, comparison-shopping no longer involves driving across town to your competitor. Consumers can reach into a coat pocket or purse and pull out their iPhone, Blackberry or Droid… and double-check the value proposition behind your offer. Their phone can also be a source of product knowledge, something they used to rely on a skilled salesperson to provide.

Is your shopping experience compelling enough to keep customers focused on the in-store presentation (rather than a competitor’s website)? Could your most important display include a sample for the customer to hold in their hands… making it less convenient to juggle a smartphone? Does your signage sufficiently promote any sale-after-the-service or other value added that make comparison-by-phone difficult… and based on something more significant than price alone?

[A note from Mike: I realize we’ve offered numerous postings on Pervasive Technology in the past (click here to see the set), and smartphone shopping, specifically (click here for that sub-set), but this consumer trend is significant enough to justify repeat attention.]

Mike Anderson, for the Elm Street Economics consumer trends blog. A service of The Center for Sales Strategy, Inc.

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