shoppers using mobile in store

How shoppers are using mobile apps to shop in-store

Shoppers using mobile in-store tend to do so to gain product or location information. In fact, one recent survey showed that eight out of ten shoppers stated they use their smartphones to search out information on products in the store. That’s a prime time to connect with consumers using a mobile marketing strategy focused on providing information and guiding the consumer’s in-store experience.

While advertising may feel like it should be the primary focus of in-store consumer outreach, information is more important. When consumers use their smartphones in the store, about 86% of the time they’re turning to search engines to locate information about your products. Often, shopping apps provide a better way to connect with consumers in the store and incentivize them to interact with products.

Offering Consumers the Information They Need

Shoppers using mobile in-store want to easily be able to access information about locations, products, rewards, and deals. Essentially, you can break down the information they’ll seek out through their smartphones based on three categories:

Product Details Deals Competition
  • Location
  • Price
  • Ingredients/materials
  • Availability
  • Uses
  • Reviews
  • In-store Promotions
  • Digital Coupons
  • Rewards Points
  • Loyalty Programs
  • Lower-priced
  • Higher-reviewed
  • Heavily-marketed
  • Competing promotions

All this information encourages consumers to research a brand but that also means the potential for competitor influence. Consumers won’t just look for information about your products. They’ll also discover information about your competitor’s products or see poor reviews from dissatisfied consumers.

shoppers using mobile in store helps to increase salesBrands must find ways to control how their products are presented when searched online. Many consumers will turn to search engines in the store, but others may look to the apps they have installed to help guide their buying choices. Brands can better present their products and even incentivize interactions by focusing on mobile apps which are designed for use while shopping.

Guiding Shoppers Using Mobile in Store With Apps

Apps that are designed for use while consumers are in the shopping aisle offer an opportunity to share information about a product. At the same time, they allow the brand to control that message. There are many types of apps designed for in-store use. Some brands choose to partner with a third-party.  

  • Digital grocery lists: In their simplest form, these apps allow users to keep track of items they need through a notepad-like interface on their phones. Most of these types of apps come as part of existing apps like shopping apps or loyalty programs.
  • Shopping apps: Shopkick is an app specifically geared towards consumers who want to learn about new products. Users gain points for scanning items in the store. This scanning process creates a digital scavenger hunt for the consumers that encourages them to handle the product physically. Studies have shown that the product being held in a potential consumer’s hand improves sales potential. Also, Shopkick offers rewards for purchases, further incentivizing sales.
  • Retail loyalty programs: Retail loyalty programs are tied to a specific retailer and are used by consumers who visit those locations frequently. These can be quite lucrative for locations but not so beneficial to specific brands. These retailer-specific loyalty programs tend to encourage loyalty for shopping in the store rather than buying from a specific brand. In some cases, it is possible to partner for promotions, but the focus is usually on the store.
  • Proximity marketing apps: These types of apps allow you to reach consumers based on location, enhancing your chances of making a sale.
  • Digital wallets: Consumers want to be able to pay for items and services through their smartphones, which is why the use of digital wallets is rapidly growing. Of course, concerns regarding security mean consumers approach them with caution and only take advantage of these wallets when accepted by trusted brands and retailers. Choosing a high-security digital wallet option is imperative if this is a feature you’d like to offer consumers.

Using apps designed to enhance the customer experience will improve your mobile marketing efforts by allowing you to control the message consumers see. These apps often combine features offering rewards, lists, and location-based messages to a wide audience of consumers. As these consumers enter the store with the app in mind, they will turn to the app when they have a question or concern about a product.  

Using apps designed to enhance the customer experience will improve your mobile marketing efforts by allowing you to control the message consumers see.

While many consumers turn to search engines to locate product info, the same information can be obtained quickly and easily with an app. Providing consumers with an alternative to search engines can enhance their experience and increase sales potential.

Shopkick offers our partners the ability to target shoppers using mobile in store with an engaging app designed to enhance the customer experience. For more information, contact us.  

Image courtesy of World Image



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Dima Volovik

EVP of Product and Engineering

Dima Volovik is the EVP of Product and Engineering at Trax Retail — Shopkick.

Dima Volovik is the accomplished product and engineering leader who led teams to deliver innovative and commercially successful e-commerce products, marketplaces, and enterprise solutions for Amazon, Comcast, Fandango, and Universal Music. Before joining Trax, Dima was the Director at Amazon, where he led product development and Engineering for Amazon Appstore and Amazon Prime Video, CTO at Fandango, and Paciolan, head of technology at Golf Channel/Golf Now, and Global VP of Direct to Consumer Technology at Universal Music Group. Dima’s expertise includes developing consumer products, marketplaces, and enterprise solutions.

Dima grew up in Baku, Azerbaijan, where he received his MS in Electrical Engineering from Azerbaijan Oil Academy, and he currently resides in Los Angeles, California, with his family.