UK shoppers turn to mobile devices

24 October 2012

LONDON: Nearly 20% of consumers in the UK have researched products on a mobile phone or tablet prior to purchasing them in store, a study has revealed.

Udozi, the retail app, and YouGov, the polling group, surveyed 2,015 people, of which 16% had accessed information about goods on wireless devices then acquired them in a shop.

More specifically, 35% of tablet owners and 26% of their counterparts possessing smartphones had engaged in this activity.

A further 11% of the entire panel reported having utilised their mobile devices to find discounts and offers available in bricks and mortar outlets, and then reclaimed them in stores.

Despite this, a 41% plurality of the sample preferred the experience provided by physical branches to any other channel, measured against 29% affording this status to a PC.

One reason for this is the high delivery charges levied by ecommerce sites, mentioned by 44% of those questioned, and general frustration with the "virtual shopping experience" on 24%.

Some 18% of respondents, and 22% of smartphone users, agreed better customer service information would improve the mcommerce experience, figures standing at 22% and 30% in turn for exclusive deals.

Around 30% of people boasting smartphones and tablets also disliked having to download apps for each individual retailer.

Elsewhere, 29% of the smartphone audience suggested they would utilise these gadgets with greater frequency if they could order items on their handset and pick them up in stores.

Another 18% of people owning gadgets like the iPhone or alternatives powered by Google's Android would be more likely to use them for commercial purposes if they helped locate nearby shops.

Alan Gabbay, founder of Udozi, said: "In today's digital age, constantly connected consumers have come to expect access to their favourite brands and retailers when on the move.

"But ... mobile and online alone simply can't compensate for the in-store shopping experience, as the majority of people still want to 'try before they buy' and speak to experts in-store."

Data sourced from Udozi/GoMo News; additional content by Warc staff