Shoppers are relying on smartphones in-store to help them manage the cost-of-living crisis, with more than half of them (54%) using phones to compare costs in-store. 85% of them say they are doing this because of the cost-of-living crisis.
Nine out of ten shoppers (88%) say that special offers and promotions are important purchase drivers, which overrides other credentials such as customer reviews (78%). This is most pronounced in non-essential categories such as fashion (89%) and luxury (91%).
The findings come from a study by future retail agency Outform, which looks at how a rise in digital interactivity in-store in the aftermath of Covid is influencing consumer shopping habits.
Data from 2,400 shoppers across the UK, US, France and Germany shows that shoppers are now accustomed to seeing tech such as QR codes in-store. 61% of shoppers are likely to use QR, with 54% of those who do finding them most appealing when they unlock offers and promotions.
While rising prices are causing further shifts in how and where we shop, consumers remain wary of the growing number of ‘Buy Now Pay Later’ schemes, with just over one in five (21%) citing these schemes as their main incentive for shopping online.
Simon Hathaway, Group MD EMEA at Outform, says: “Our research mirrors analysis from Google Trends, showing that terms such as ‘Christmas discounts’ are spiking. Consumers are facing a tough winter financially, so their focus is on getting the most for their money in terms of how and where they shop.
“In the current economic climate, values are shifting to price, with consumers more likely to shop for longer to search for discounts. We’re all much more attuned to the consumer data exchange being transactional, and as retailers ramp up special offers, shoppers will expect them to be accessible via apps and be prepared to exchange their data in return for personalised deals.”
Mobile in Black Friday driving seat
Mobile is also driving sales across Black Friday online, separate data reveals. According to the latest post-BF analysis from Forter, mobile accounted for 67% of Black Friday sales, up from 65% last year. Online dropped from 35 to 33%.
This move to mobile has also seen a significant shift to using mobile for ‘conversational commerce’, where shoppers are increasingly engaging with the brands and retailers that they want to do business with using mobile messaging such as SMS and WhatsApp.
According to data from messaging company Attentive, SMS drove $1.1bn+ for brands during Cyber Week alone (11/21 – 11/28), up 41% YoY and hitting the billion mark for the first time.
The company also noted that 12.7 million new consumers signed up to receive SMS from their favourite brands that week, up more than 49% from 2021. This saw more than 1.6 billion messages sent to subscribers globally.