Smartphones in the hands of shoppers are rapidly becoming a major influence on UK retail sales with 84% of millennials claiming to use their phones for shopping assistance while in a store.
Deloitte’s annual UK mobile consumer survey, which provides insight into the mobile behaviour of more than 4,000 smartphone users, reveals that smartphone penetration has seen growth across all age groups, with the 55-75 category seeing the most growth, increasing from 40% in 2013 to 77% in 2018.
Mobile holds the key for bricks-and-mortar retailers to fight back against declining high street shopping which has resulted from time-poor and digitally-connected individuals driving the increase in online shopping, according to Matt Sebek, Vice President of Digital at World Wide Technology.
He said: “By leveraging new technologies, they can provide a richer customer experience, creating the store of the future.
“Mobile is not so much a disrupter as it is an enabler of improved customer experience. Smartphones play a significant role in a customer’s decision making process. We can see from this latest report that over a third of all shoppers use mobile devices in-store. That figure rises dramatically to 84% when it comes to the vitally important ‘millennial’ generation.
“Bricks-and-mortar stores are tapping into mobile technology to offer in-store customers an improved version of the shopping experience they encounter online. A frictionless experience can be created in a physical store by combining the speed and efficiency of online shopping with the benefits of in-store shopping such as the ability to see, touch and try the products prior to purchasing.”
Sainsbury’s recently launched an app that lets customers scan the contents of their trolley as they browse the aisles, reducing waiting time at the checkout while clothing retailer Zara recently introduced a click-and-collect store, with the option for customers to order and pay via their mobile phones in-store.
Matt said moves such as these were “a crucial part of delivering the store of the future”.