Women Shoppers Want to Shop in Stores, but Open to Mobile Deals While There

by Net Future Institute on April 22, 2013

By Chuck Martin

Much of mobile shopping for women appears to involve traveling to a store to shop.

In the no-kidding department of research, a new study found that even though more than half (53%) of women have up to five shopping apps on their smartphones, most (76%) prefer to shop for clothes and shoes in a retail store rather than through an app.

While hardly a surprise, the same study also contains some insights for how marketers and retailers can engage with female shoppers on location.

There are some obvious areas where mobile can’t compete with what women want in stores. For example, the study by ResearchNow looked at the apparel shopping behaviors and preferences of 1,000 smartphone-owning women shoppers and found what they like about in-store shopping:

  • 92% — See and touch clothes and shoes
  • 90% — Try on clothes for fit
  • 72% — Explore and discover new styles

What they don’t like about in-store shopping:

  • 84% — Crowds
  • 70% — Transportation and parking
  • 45% — Interacting with sales people
  • 41% – Trying to find their size

Mobile interaction can deal with at least the last two of those issues, by automating some interactions and providing real-time inventory information.

Women shoppers also are interactive while in the store, based on the ResearchNow study, which was commissioned by mobile company Swirl.

While in-store, they seek information from the following sources:

  • 37%– Family and friends shopping with them
  • 21% — Shopping and lifestyle apps and websites
  • 15% — In-store sales associates
  • 14% — Family and friends not with them
  • 9% — Retailer’s branded mobile app or website

The opportunity for retailers and mobile marketers is that women shoppers will act based on incentives. For example, while a third of them love it when reminded of in-store sales by a sales associate, a majority (58%) said they would be “thrilled” if they received a personalized offer on their smartphone while in the store.

The study also found that while 17% of women shoppers would not share their location, most would, based on the following incentives:

  • 83% — $15 in-store credit
  • 47% — $5 in-store credit
  • 20% — $1 in store credit

In-aisle, mobile engagement in the form of tangible value may rule the day.

   Chuck Martin is editor of mCommerce Daily at MediaPost and writes the daily MobileShopTalk. He is author of “The Third Screen,” “The Smartphone Handbook,” and the soon-to-be-published “Mobile Influence.” He is CEO of Mobile Future Institute and a frequent mobile keynote speaker around the world.

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