Three quarters (75%) of all shoppers say they are now regularly using a mobile device while shopping in bricks-and-mortar retail stores, with only 25% actually making a purchase in-store afterward, according to shopper behaviour research from retail strategy and marketing firm InReality. This article is copyright 2015 The Best Customer Guide.

The inaugural 'Reality of Retail' report was created to help brands and retailers understand the new realities and opportunities presented by disruptive changes in shopping behaviour.

Purchases in brick-and-mortar stores still accounted for over 94% (some US$4.4 trillion) of all retail sales in the US in 2014. The report focuses on shopper behaviour inside these stores, surveying consumers' use of mobile devices in-store, the effectiveness of retail loyalty programmes, and the effectiveness of traditional in-store marketing tactics along the shopper's path to purchase.

Highlights from the report's findings included:

  • Shoppers are not doing all their research online
    Around half of the shoppers surveyed (53%) said they prefer to research products in-store and more than half (57%) of the lucrative 18-24 age group said they prefer to research product information in-store instead of online.
  • Shoppers are using mobile in-store to purchase online
    The majority of the shoppers surveyed (75%) said they regularly use mobile in-store, and 25% of shoppers said they actually use their mobile devices while in stores to make a purchase online (the 'showrooming' phenomenon).
  • In-store marketing tactics must change
    More than half of shoppers (56%) still think that advertising is important to their purchase decision in-store, but only 12% of shoppers feel the in-store sales associate is an important touch-point in a purchase decision.
  • Loyalty programmes may not be driving loyalty
    Only 46% of shoppers who use loyalty programmes consider them to be important in their decision to purchase, and 71% of those who use loyalty programmes said they still use their mobile devices for price comparisons.

"We know the rapidly accelerating growth and adoption of technology is disrupting retail as shoppers are researching and buying online; and yet we also know that the overwhelming majority of retail dollars spent by shoppers is still within bricks-and-mortar," concluded Gary Lee, CEO for InReality. "Traditional in-store marketing is still critically important to shoppers, but technology, especially mobile, is having an impact on the store-changing the shopper's path to purchase and calling for brands and retailers to start rethinking in-store strategies."