New research, conducted by Conlumino for eBay, shows that rather than speeding up the shopping process, new technologies will result in UK consumers spending nearly twice as long browsing, researching and comparing prices of items.
UK consumers currently spend approximately 1 hour 20 minutes, considering, researching and buying non-basic items, such as fashion, items for their homes and gardens and electronics. The research predicts this will increase to around 2 hours 30 minutes by 2014.
The improved functionality of smartphones, like that expected to feature in the iPhone 5, and rapid advancements in other digital technology is already resulting in more brands and retailers using new services like augmented reality to display and promote their products to consumers. This has the effect of lengthening the shopping process as consumers can try on items virtually or see how goods could look in their home. For example eBay’s Fashion App includes image swatch technology which allows users to take a picture of a colour or fabric and search for a similar item.
Location based mobile technology allows consumers to compare prices of items locally as they shop and enables retailers to target consumer with specific personalised deals, again providing more choice and extending the time spent by consumers researching and considering what to buy.With more and more people now using a smartphone or tablet device, mobile shopping is going from strength to strength. Only last month eBay revised its forecast of global transactions through mobile from $8bn to $10bn in 2012.
Olivier Ropars, Senior Director of Mobile, eBay said: “Sales of smartphones are booming, even in the recession, and mobile is fundamentally changing the way that people shop. What might be surprising to some people is that rather than speeding up the time it takes to shop, the smartphone boom is resulting in consumers spending more time shopping – interacting with brands, browsing for items and researching the best deals. What’s more, consumers are firmly in the driving seat of this new extended shopping trend. “Whilst spending more time shopping isn’t for everyone, for many people it’s a part of how they like to relax or fill time, at home or on the move. Advances in mobile allows them to do this whenever and wherever they want.
“Smart retailers who consider the improved functionality of new smartphones and integrate this as part of a multi-channel retail strategy will be best placed to gain from the opportunities mobile and new technologies present.”