More evidence emerged this week suggesting the power of smartphones to reshape how retailers stock, merchandise and track purchasing habits in-store.
New research from Deloitte suggests that more than 5 percent of store sales during 2012 will be influenced by smartphones. For the purposes of the survey, Deloitte defined “influence” to include activities such as product research conducted by shoppers with their mobile device, price comparisons and other mobile application usage. By 2016, that influence will grow to 19 percent of sales, or $689 billion, the Deloitte research suggests.
This phenomenon is rather disconcerting for the retail industry, and some retailers have actually banned Wi-Fi in their stores in an effort to prevent the activity and lock in customers. But a growing number, such as The Home Depot, are viewing mobile technology as a new way to inspire customer loyalty and accelerate the purchasing process. Those retailers are embracing ’showrooming’ with technology of their own.