To understand how today’s smartphone-wielding consumers are using their devices in store, Aimia conducted research into this phenomenon, surveying a total of 3,000 consumers in the United States, United Kingdom,  and Canada, who currently use their mobiles in retail stores.  The research uncovered that there are five customer segments, each with distinctly different behaviours, preferences, and motivations: 

  • The Exploiters: Premeditated about lower prices  Exploiters plan to purchase a product online, and merely visit the store to preview it in-person.  They also never purchase a product in a retail store when they know they can buy it online for an equal or lower price.
     
  • The Savvys: Calculating but persuadable  Like the Exploiters, the Savvys report having ‘showroomed’ in the last year, and their showrooming was similarly planned in advance. One critical difference: Savvys report that they will purchase a product in a retail store even though they know they can buy it for an equal or lower price online.

“Understanding each type of mobile shopper is important when creating the best possible retail environment to ensure business success.”

  • The Price-Sensitives Price-Sensitives all report having showroomed in the last year. They also exhibit high price-sensitivity, saying that they never purchase a product in a retail store when they know they can buy it for an equal or lower price online. 
     
  • The Experience-Seekers The Experience-Seekers prove that mobile-assisted shopping does not reduce the importance of a great in-store experience for many shoppers. They are willing to buy in the store, even when they find equal or lower prices online.
     
  • The Traditionalists Traditionalists are shoppers who prefer the in-store shopping experience,  and while they may use their mobile devices to aid them as they shop in-store, it has never led them to change course and buy the product online instead. 

Understanding each type of mobile shopper is important when creating the best possible retail environment to ensure business success. Retailers can use a loyalty program to gain insights through customer data analytics to segment customer groups, allowing them to understand each individual customer and build meaningful relationships integral to fostering customer loyalty.