Mobile retailing is poised to dramatically change the high street as the boom in mobile phone based shopping leads to many retailers literally shutting up shop and focusing instead on delivering a mobile internet shopping experience.
So suggests the latest Webloyalty Online Retail Report from Verdict Research, which suggests that, over the next five years, more than 80% of shoppers will be using their mobiles to shop and that a trip to the high street will not be possible without having a smartphone in hand – because a trip to the shops will become an experience rather than, well, just a trip to the shops.
The report also finds that shoppers will use their mobiles to both compare brands and prices, and buy. High street stores are likely to become connected, with free wifi services helping shoppers connect with and compare brands.
GPS in phones will also be used to help shoppers find products in-store using their smartphone, and products can be purchased on the spot ‘online’ via a mobile after comparing prices.
Staff too will undergo a mobile revolution, with many being able to roam the store with mobile point of sale technology – meaning the end of lining up in front of a till.
“The next step will be the use of mobile phones as part of the shopping experience. Soon, consumers won’t think about hitting the high street without their smartphone. It will be absolutely essential - not only to browse, but for how we pay, locate products and find the best deals and discounts,” says Neil Saunders, Verdict Research.
“Shoppers after a better deal will use their mobile to compare and find prices,” he continues. “Retailers that survive on the high street will be those that combine their online stores with mobile apps that offer shoppers a better deal using location-based offers. Almost half of all Brits own a smartphone - which will be how shoppers locate and compare the best prices in the very near future.”