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Mobile Changes How Customers Shop

(Shoppers) are ginned up on research

and pity the sales assistant

who doesn’t know when

to get out of the shopper’s way.”


Did you ever truly believe, back in the dark ages of the mid-1990s, that you’d ever in your life do most of your Christmas shopping face-to-face with your computer terminal screen?
That you’d ever in your life laugh at the phrase: “Let your fingers do the walking through the Yellow Pages” while Googling up the address of the nearest brewpub?

…. That your shopping decisions might be determined – not by the big page 3 ad in the Sunday newspaper, but by the breezy recommendation of some “blogger” sitting in his PJ’s in an efficiency apartment somewhere in New Jersey?

American’s retail shopping habits have changed and more change is coming: Consumers who threw away their last print version of the Yellow Pages five years ago, are now more likely to recognize any of a dozen web-generated imitators than the vaunted traditional book itself.

Consumer attitudes have blurred the line between retailers’ online and brick-and-mortar personas. Woe be to the retailer who fails to recognize a strong need to reach out to potential buyers via a multitude of channels.

A new study from Leo Burnett and Arc Worldwide demonstrates that the recession has markedly altered consumers’ mindset.

According to the survey, “Re-Imagining the Retail Store,” the post-recession American shopper is “high maintenance, promiscuous and demands an innovative and engaging experience in-store and online ….

“One of the most important questions facing the retail industry in a multi-channel, Internet enabled world is what – if any – is the role of the physical retail store in a landscape where they are no longer needed for shoppers to make purchases and retailers to sell products and services.”

Steve Smith, in a Behavioral Insider blog titled “Shopping Behavior 2010: Phoning It In,” claims consumers are, today, savvier and more demanding than ever:

“They are ginned up on research and pity the sales assistant who doesn’t know when to get out of the shopper’s way,” Smith says.

And technology is a major part of the new challenge for retailers, he adds:

“About half of all mobile Web activity in a store is related to shopping …. and almost half of all of those using mobile phones in-store have sent phone camera images of a product to someone.”

So … we are led to believe that the “Yellow Pages convenience” of shopping is a ho-ho-hopelessly outdated memento of Christmas past.

And … 2010 Christmas was dominated by shoppers experimenting with a ho-ho-host of new gadgets and technologies.

Well … It seems the advent of innovations like QR codes and the increasing sophistication of mobile-driven marketing and search is certain to bring a whole lot of changes for 2011!

Photo: Behance Network / Hello Vanilla