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Consumers wary of m-shopping security, but could be persuaded in store

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As the number of smartphones grows, you’d have thought that more people would be shopping on their mobiles – however, a study by YouGov on behalf of Callcredit Information Group finds that typically only 12% of UK shoppers are planning to shop on mobile this Christmas, while 41% of consumers say they can’t or won’t since they either believe that they don’t have the ability to or that the technology is not secure. Ironically, many 78% of these that say they won’t claim to prefer traditional methods of shopping such as “going into a store or doing it online”.

The survey however, also reveals that consumers can be readily tempted to give away their contact details in store if offered a financial incentive such as a discount – or, in the case of male shoppers, are asked for their details by some sort of hottie (or “someone friendly and approachable” as the research puts it).

What this suggests to us here at M-Retailing Towers is that people need to be educated in store in to what the retailer can do for them using mobile – and incentivise them using mobile coupons and vouchers. The study reveals that still the bulk of shoppers prefer the in store experience, while also embracing online retail. Talking them through what is possible on their mobile, instore, and giving them a coupon seems an ideal way to get the mobile message out there.

According to Callcredit’s CAMEO Personal Finance segmentation, the majority of respondents that have never made a purchase via their mobile phones are classed as ‘Sophisticated Savers,’ while consumers that have made a purchase via their phone are likely to be ‘Seldom Savers.’

“The results reveal that retailers are missing a big trick, as customers are most engaged with a brand at the point of purchase in store,” said Kevin Telford, Director, Callcredit Information Group. “Whilst consumers have to give out contact details to make a purchase online, they are often more reluctant to do so in store – but will if they are offered a small incentive or provided with information about products and services relevant to them.”

The research highlights the importance of taking a more holistic approach to customer interaction and recognition . Telford continued: “Stores remain critically important both as a showroom for the website, but also in capturing consumer data. Asking a customer for a mobile number when delivering goods to let them know they are on the way, or sending a thank-you email with the best next offer can be done very easily. It is simple to bring in dedicated customer-facing experts to personally capture this data, yet it is a model that many retailers wouldn’t have considered, as they often fail to realise the value of this data.”

So retailers, when the thaw comes and people start heading back to the shops after Christmas, perhaps it is time to start a shopfloor offensive to start getting people using mobile – after all many of them will have received smartphones from Santa and will be ripe for the picking.

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