49% of retailers name in-store mobile experience a top priority
Thirty-three percent of consumers said they frequently make purchases through their mobile devices, and 41% of those surveyed said they plan to increase their frequency of mobile shopping via smartphones or tablets in the next 24 months, according to BRP's "2019 Special Report: In-Store Mobility."
The study also found that 63% of consumers rely on mobile phones while shopping in-store to compare prices, search for offers and coupons, and check inventory, among other things. Additionally, 85% of consumers have purchased a product via mobile app. Meanwhile, 49% of retailers said customers' in-store mobile experience is one of their top customer engagement priorities.
The survey results also showed that 66% of retailers already offer mobile point-of-sale capability in their stores, and 40% of consumers admitted they are likely to shop at stores offering mobile POS.
Regarding in-store mobile usage, previous studies have found an even higher percentage of consumers using these devices inside stores during shopping visits. For example, Salesforce research from last year suggested that 71% of shoppers used their mobile devices in-store and that the percentage was even higher (83%) among shoppers 18 to 44 years old.
Mobile POS is also an evolving concept, as there may be a growing trend toward putting this capability in the hands of customers through self-scanning mobile checkout apps. The BRP study noted that 44% of consumers surveyed would shop with retailers that offer self-scanning mobile apps. Another recent study, from SOTI, also pointed out strong interest from consumers in mobile self-checkout options.
The technology picked up speed among retailers soon after Amazon launched its first cashierless Go store in January of last year. Last year, Walmart launched Scan and Go mobile checkout to more than 100 stores but dropped the technology a few months later. The retailer said few customers actually used the technology and the investment wasn't worthwhile. Soon after, 7-Eleven piloted Scan and Go technology, as well as SpartanNash, Ahold Delhaize and Kroger. Eventually, Walmart relaunched its Scan and Go technology in its Sam's Club Now store in Dallas, Texas.
The BRP study further suggests that more retailers are starting to enable customers' mobile devices to act as POS devices via apps. This trend, and the effect it has on retailers' equipping their store associates with mobile technology, certainly will be one to watch in the coming years.