Shoppers May Not be Wearing Underwear, But They are Likely Using Their Mobile

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Apr 19 2015, Posted by Gary Lee
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InReality recently released our inaugural research report titled The 2015 Reality of Retail Report, and we’ve gathered a lot of attention in the media around a few of our findings. Specifically, the fact that 75% of the shoppers surveyed admitted to using their mobile device while shopping in store for one reason or another, and the fact that 25% have actually made purchases from their mobile device while in store.

I had a fun interview yesterday with Mike Cassidy, a former San Jose Mercury News Business reporter and current Storyteller at BloomReach. We spent a considerable amount of time talking about the research report findings and the “so what” of it all for retailers. Mike captured me in one of my more “eloquent” moments stating that consumers would rather walk out of the house not wearing underwear than leave home without their mobile. (Yes, I know, the mental image may be haunting and disturbing depending on your generic view of consumers without underwear!) My point, whether made eloquently or not, was that consumers are clearly digitally-attached to the web almost 24/7 now, and it’s changing their shopping and buying behavior. You can read more of Mike’s thoughts from our time together here.

What’s clear to us from our findings in this research, and from the work we do daily with brands and retailers is that retail is going through the largest disruption in its history, and technology is at the forefront. Consumers are using technology in new ways to research and shop, and brick-and-mortar retail now has tremendous opportunities because of it.

Why? Because 94% of all purchases last quarter in the U.S. were still made in brick-and-mortar stores (U.S. Census Bureau). Despite the huge growth in ecommerce, brick-and-mortar still matters – A LOT – and it will continue to matter to the tune of over $4T per year in the U.S. alone for the foreseeable future, with analysts forecasting that consumers will still spend more than 91% of all of their dollars in store instead of online through the next 3-4 years.

But, retailers and brands must adapt to the changing needs of the consumers, and discover ways to embrace the fact that while they may not be wearing underwear (still can’t believe that was the analogy I used!), they will be carrying and using their digital mobile device. The challenge for everyone in retail is to find innovative and compelling ways to market to consumers in store, and ensure the marketing is extremely relevant, contextual and personalized where possible.

If you want to learn more about our research, check it out here:

I challenge everyone who sees shoppers using mobile in store from this moment forward to think about what they might be doing. And, whether you choose to consider whether they forgot to wear something in their flurry to remember their mobile device, I’ll leave that to your discretion…

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