m-Shoppers – Capture A Growing Segment Armed with Smartphones
A growing segment of retail shoppers is going to take more of your time and attention. There’s no getting around them. They’re called m-shoppers or showroomers; those armed with their ever-present smartphones.
Here’s some fascinating insight into this dynamic new customer group.
The term showroomers began when customers of Best Buy were seen checking their smartphones while shopping in Best Buy. It was assumed they were only there to compare prices to electronic retailers online.
But what are these shoppers looking for? Are they wielding their mighty smartphones as weapons or as a beacon seeking info for a smarter purchase? Are showroomers a threat to your business? A recent survey conducted by the Columbia Business School and AIMIA research firm which focuses on loyalty shopping strategies has some excellent insight into this important trend.
Threat Becomes Opportunity
Although m-shoppers are thought to be a group of low price hunters, completely disloyal to any brands, the survey shows this not to be the case. In fact, this threat can actually be leveraged so that you create a more loyal customer. The authors even provide suggestions on how to utilize this knowledge to modify your retail strategy. That could mean altering your POP collateral and display units, and integrating a new digital marketing component into your promotional mix.
Debunking M-Shopper Myths
Mobile shoppers aren’t well understood which is why many retailers and manufacturers don’t know how to manage them.
- 21% of all consumers are m-shoppers (use mobile devices to assist with purchase decision)
- 74% of M-Shopper are over 29 years old
- Only 6% are exploiters who plan to buy online instead
- 30% are committed to buying in store and are using their phone to get deeper product info
- 48% will buy in store despite equal or lower prices elsewhere
- 60% will buy in store if they find reviews on their smartphone
- 55% are willing to sign up for store loyalty programs
- 31% are willing to interact with the store’s social media sites
The researchers categorized M-Shoppers into 5 types as depicted in the graphic below. The 5 types are based on what each was after in the shopping outing.
Making M-Shoppers Purchase & Stay Loyal
It’s clear from the info that these shoppers aren’t described as disloyal, low price hunters. Instead, most are looking for product information, perhaps discount coupons or codes, or customer reviews. Many M-Shoppers including the price-sensitive ones, can be encouraged to buy in-store with a price matching offer or a bonus reward points offer.
One benefit some showroomers are looking for is free shipping. That’s merely just another objection to add to the others for your sales pitch to overcome.
Convenience and the Customer Experience
The researchers suggest the best way to manage M-Shoppers is to improve your store or manufacturers Web site, give the shopper a good instore/online experience, ensure you have the purchase supporting information available and then encourage their need for immediacy, convenience, and good customer service.
You may want to reward the M-Shopper for using their smartphone to visit your site or receive your SMS messaging. Offer a deal and encourage additional purchases and increasing their overall purchase value.
Here’s what excites M-Shoppers:
- Overall discount on purchase
- Direct product discount
- Get a free sample product
- Enter a contest/sweepstakes
- Free home delivery
- Extended warranty
- Ability to pay at checkout with their smartphone
- Helpful online reviews
It’s possible for a retailer or manufacturer at any size or distribution scope to integrate digital promotion to support sales of their products. As consumers begin using their smartphones to pay instead of using plastic cards or cash, M-Shopping will increase.
Catch up on the use of manufacturer’s coupons as sales builders. Is it time to stop using plain corrugate packaging and start branding on all your shipping boxes? Looking for the best packaging design ideas and outstanding POP displays?
Learn more about the research study, SHOWROOMING AND THE RISE OF THE MOBILE-ASSISTED SHOPPER at the AIMIA Website.
Have your packaging design and channel strategy optimized for Shoppers Drug Mart / Loblaws and WalMart?