Brick-and-mortar retailers are always concerned when they see store visitors taking out their phones. Some of these shoppers are "showrooming" when they are in a traditional retailer. That means they have come to the store with the intent to check out a product's attributes but then look it up online to see where they can buy it at a lower price.
New research from Google is somewhat encouraging; it suggests that, while some mobile shoppers are indeed showrooming, others may actually be searching for more information about the store itself. In fact, Google has discovered "that people no longer follow a predictable and straight path to purchase." More shoppers are using mobile search before they even go to a store to look up hours, locations and other details. Google has found that " shoppers continue to hunt for deals while they’re in-store, and search online for things like '[retailer name] + in store coupons'..."
More good news regarding in-store mobile search, according to Google: "In-store shoppers are 4X more likely to search on Google for the retail brand of the store they’re currently in compared to the next highest competitor, and there are 6X more Google searches for the retailer than for 'amazon." The bottom line is that retailers need to be sure all relevant store and product information is easy to find online -- and also create a positive in-store shopping experience.
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