McKinsey iConsumer research titled The next stage: Six ways the digital consumer is changing highlights one of the important shift as the increasing role of mobile devices. Across most categories, mobile accounts for about a third of online consumer research.
Almost half the time (44%), this research is done inside the physical store – to check out the competition, to compare prices, or to use mobile-specific tools such as barcode scanners. When consumers find a lower-priced product through mobile research, 58% say they would delay their purchase and buy elsewhere, while 31% would still make the purchase but report a change in perceptions of the store and future purchases. Only 10% report that they are likely to complete the purchase without effect.
The research goes on to recommend that retailers of all stripes must take note. These trends raise major questions. There are tactical issues: What assortment and pricing structures to deploy online and in-store? What is the true ROI on social marketing and promotions? And there are also strategic considerations: How to compete and maintain differentiation against emerging Internet-only competitors? What infrastructure investments are needed to win in a mobile-first world?