Indicative of the growing extent to which individuals are
"always connected," smartphones
now influence 5.1% of annual retail sales, which translates
into forecast sales of $159 billion for 2012, according to new
research from Deloitte.
Deloitte says its in-depth survey and study, "The Dawn of
Mobile Influence," is the first to measure the "mobile
influence factor"-- the impact mobile phones are having on in-store
Deloitte's so-called "mobile influence factor"
refers to shoppers using their smartphones to research products,
shop for deals and compare prices and offerings online while out
shopping in the physical world.
The influence of smartphones on shoppers' in-store decision-making
is only going to increase, Deloitte expects, reaching
19%, some $689 billion, of total store sales by 2016.
Direct mobile sales, by comparison, will exceed $30 billion by that
time, according to industry estimates, Deloitte notes.
"Mobile devices' influence on retail store sales has passed the
rate at which consumers purchase through their devices today," said
Alison Paul, vice chairman, Deloitte LLP and retail &
distribution sector leader.
"Consumers' store-related mobile activities are contributing to -
not taking away from - in-store sales, and our research indicates
that smartphone shoppers are 14 percent more likely to convert and
make a purchase in the store than non-smartphone users. This means
that mobile is an important tool for retailers to
incrementally drive traditional in-store sales,
strengthening the relationship between retailer and consumer to
increase engagement and loyalty."
Deloitte's retail & distribution practice and Deloitte Digital
conducted an in-depth survey of U.S. consumers' use of smartphones
while out shopping. Some 48% of smartphone owners surveyed said
using their smartphones has influenced their in-store purchase
decisions, with smartphone usage tending to be highest at or near
More than 6-in-10 smartphone owners who use their mobile devices to
shop have done so while out in stores shopping. More than half
(52%) use their mobile phones on the way to the store.
It appears that shoppers who use their smartphones while in the act
are more likely to make purchases than those who don't, according
to Deloitte. Some 72% of smartphone owners surveyed reported they
made a purchase the last time they were out shopping and using
their mobile devices compared with 63% of those who said they
hadn't used a mobile phone while out shopping.
Smartphone owners were also more likely to eventually make a
purchase: 59% of those who used a smartphone but didn't buy
anything on their last shopping outing did wind up making one. That
compares to 22% of those who eventually did but hadn't used their
smartphone while out shopping.
Shoppers are increasingly making use of mobile apps to assist them,
Deloitte found: 37% of smartphone owners surveyed who used
a smartphone on their last shopping trip made use of a third-party
mobile shopping app, while 34% used a retailer's mobile
Younger shoppers are the most influenced by mobile shopping apps
and services, suggesting that retailers' core customers will
increasingly be making use of smartphones to assist with their
shopping as they age. Some 67% smartphone owners between 14-34 have
used their devices to shop, while 55% reported that using their
smartphones has influenced their purchase decisions.