By Jeff Unterreiner
For a few years now, pundits of all types have presumed that one of the main reasons online sales have increased and in-store sales have decreased is showrooming – the consumer practice of price-shopping a product online while in a retail store. To be fair, many in the industry (including us) have recognized that showrooming in and of itself is not a problem; rather, it represents the current landscape of consumer experience and expectations.
Here at Assurant Solutions, we view a marketplace with more empowered, knowledgeable consumers as a positive development. What we see is an evolution of the consumer’s in-store experience into an opportunity for our clients – something we’re calling the “mobile-assisted sale.”
According to business consultant, professor and author David Rogers (@David_Rogers), our presumed understanding of the mobile shopper may not quite mesh with reality. A recap of a recent presentation on the subject from Rogers, including many interesting facts and statistics, can be found here. For example, according to Rogers, 12% of Walmart.com sales are from customers that are IN a Walmart store.
What I find most interesting is what all of this means for our retail, OEM and e-retail clients, and I look forward to exploring the mobile-assisted sale and the opportunity it presents within future blogs. Today, however, let’s start by laying out the basics.
Per Rogers, 23% of US consumers (21% globally) can be classified as “mobile-assisted” shoppers. This means that 1 out of every 4 customers walking in the door are likely to pull out their smart phones.
But what are these “mobile-assisted” shoppers doing on their phones? According to Rogers’ research, these shoppers are price-checking (no surprise), but they are also researching information and reviews, visiting the site of the store they are in (see Walmart stat above) or simply calling or texting a family member or friend.
In future blogs, we’ll lay out the ways that retailers, OEMs and e-retailers should address the mobile-assisted sale opportunity. It presents each type of business with opportunities and threats, and each has strengths and weaknesses that come into play. However, there is one universal principle that every business – including Assurant – must recognize, understand and embrace in order to succeed in today’s omni-channel world:
Simply understanding consumers – who they are, where they are and what they want – is not enough; we must activate these insights within our businesses and give consumers the experience they want in order to survive and thrive.
I’ll end with this question and would love to hear your thoughts: How are you addressing the opportunity presented by the mobile-assisted sale? I look forward to continuing this discussion.
Posted by Jeff Unterreiner
on May 21, 2014 | 0 comments