Younger consumers are using their smartphones to browse and buy while in stores

Tyrone Stewart

Retail clothes shopping mobile smartphoneA growing number of Millennial and Generation (Gen) Z are browsing and purchasing via their mobile phones while in-stores, according to research from Conversant.

The research found that 78 per cent of the two generations shop both in-store and online simultaneously – and are 34 per cent more likely than older customers to use a mobile device while in a store.

“A few years ago, in-store Wi-Fi was seen as a basic marketing channel and time-waster for bored friends and partners waiting around,” said Elliott Clayton, SVP of media UK at Conversant. “Today’s young, savvy customers will do price comparison on their mobiles, but they might also be ordering the right size or colour of an item from your store that isn’t available on the premises.

“The customer journey is not linear but merges across channels and brick-to-clicks is on the rise. Given this, providing the likes of free and reliable Wi-Fi for customers will become increasingly important as brick-and-mobile shopping becomes the norm. Smaller retailers and independents would be wise to take note and follow suit,” continued Clayton.

“The fast-growing brick-and-mobile shopping trend benefits both the brand and the customer. Brands have multiple opportunities to market to consumers and capture a sale, while consumers themselves make more informed decisions when purchasing.

“To seize the opportunity around brick-and-mobile engagements, brands need an online experience that enhances in-store device activity and a marketing strategy that also complements it.”