Smartphones Will Continue to Influence Consumers, Study Shows

Mobile commerce may not be a jewelry industry priority in 2012, but it is certain to become one in the next several years.

According to a recent study by the consulting firm Deloitte, mobile’s influence will grow to represent 19 percent of total store sales by 2016, amounting to $689 billion in mobile-influenced sales.

The study also cites industry estimates that predict direct mobile commerce sales will pass the $30 billion mark by that time.

“Mobile is a major influencer of purchase decisions in the retail marketplace—as it is influencing all aspects of our lives,” says Jeffrey Arnold of the retail jewelry consulting firm Focus Business Management Institute. “Jewelers could embrace this by being sure that they have a mobile friendly version of their website that prominently displays their location, telephone number, and hours—the most searched for items via mobile.”

Arnold also recommends that jewelers claim their Google Places listing so that when someone does a Google search for them the most current information is reflected. Jewelers should also offer any materials they hand out in their stores—such as brochures—via mobile download, so that consumers can interact with them with their mobile devices. “They could also offer small QR codes for their window display merchandise that takes the customer to a site with more information about that store and that particular piece, which could drive interaction for those folks who don’t have time or the desire to engage with a salesperson or during the hours when they are closed,” he says.

He also correctly points out that if you look at this mobile influence factor by store category table, jewelry is not even on the list. “This means that the mobile influence is now under 3 percent, and even in 2016 will be under 8 percent,” he says. “So jewelers should still be focused on getting their inventory and finances in shape instead of focusing on trying to cater to a mobile market.”

Other findings from the Deloitte survey include:

  • Smartphone shoppers are 14 percent more likely to convert and make a purchase in the store than non-smartphone users.
  • Forty-eight percent of smartphone owners surveyed say their phones have influenced their decision to purchase an item in a store.
  • Consumers’ smartphone use tends to be highest at or near the point of purchase.
  • Sixty-one percent of smartphone owners who use their devices to shop have done so while shopping at the store, and 52 percent reach for their phones on the way to the store.
  • When asked about their most recent shopping trip, 72 percent of smartphone owners surveyed indicated they made a purchase on that day, compared with 63 percent of respondents who did not use a phone.
  • Smartphone users were also more likely to eventually make a purchase: among those who did not buy anything on their last trip, 59 percent of those who used a smartphone eventually made a purchase, compared to only 22 percent of those who did not use one. 
  • Thirty-seven percent of smartphone owners surveyed who used a smartphone on their last shopping trip utilized a third-party mobile shopping application, and 34 percent used a retailer’s mobile application.
  • Sixty-seven percent of smartphone users between 14- and 34-years-old have used their devices to shop, and 55 percent indicate their smartphones have influenced their decision to make a purchase.

What has been your experience with m-commerce? Have customers mentioned that they’ve used their smartphone while researching what jewelry to buy?

As always, your thoughts are always welcome in the comment section, or you can email me at dford@jckonline.com.

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