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Posted on August 12, 2016 by staff

In-store shoppers ‘are checking products online’

Shoppers are using their mobile devices to search for product and service information they normally would have sought in store, research has found.

Marketing and data analysis firm Hitwise found 71 per cent of customers are searching for information about retailer returns policies through mobile devices rather than asking a retail assistant.

It also found that 84 per cent are using their mobile devices to search for online reviews of products they might buy.

Managing director at Hitwise, Nigel Wilson, said the shift towards using mobile devices for research is an indication of the movement towards a more omni-channel environment.

Wilson said: “Shoppers are using their mobile phone or tablet as a tool to search for more choice and find the best deal.

“However, retailers must ensure a seamless experience from online to offline to reflect the growing accessibility demanded by today’s consumers.”

There has been a massive migration to online shopping in recent years, with the likes of Net-a-Porter leading the way, but it seems even those who venture out to the high street are turning to their phones for help.

The increase in online shopping has led to an increase in omni-channel customer behaviour, with customers interacting with a retailer through a channel that is most convenient to them; whether that be mobile, desktop or physical store.

The research also found 77 per cent of customers are using their mobile devices to find alternative prices online for items they are thinking of purchasing.

Wilson believes it’s important for retailers to ensure consumers have a consistent experience across these channels.

He said: “By giving products in-store and online the same price tag, the customer is more likely to feel satisfied with their purchase and less likely to buy from other retailers instead.”

Retailers have been told to embrace the digital revolution or die.