Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Smart Phones Influence 6% of Retail Sales?

Almost half of U.K. smart phone owners have used their device to research product information before or during a shopping trip, according to new research from Deloitte Digital.

Those results might suggest that six percent of in-store retail sales are being influenced by smart phone use. That would be almost double the value of direct purchases made through mobiles, which are estimated at about £8 billion in 2012.

By 2016, more than 80 percent of consumers are expected to own a smart phone and Deloitte estimates that between 15 percent and 18 percent of in-store sales will be smart phone-influenced, equivalent to £35 billion to  £ 43 billion.

Smart phone usage also appears to increase the conversion rates for retailers. Some 74 percent of shoppers that visited a retailer’s mobile website or app during their most recent shopping trip made a purchase.

Some might suggest that the results are "soft," since any number of shopping influences contribute to any retail purchase, and it always is wrong to attribute 100 percent of the influence to just the final input, or most visible input, or most easily measured possible input to any decision.

Mobile is particularly popular in the electronics sector, influencing 10 percent of U.K. store sales and is predicted to increase to 30 percent of sales by 2016.  

Convenience stores and supermarkets are less affected, with only 2.9 percent and 3.8 percent of sales influenced, respectively.  

There is a dramatic difference between use of mobile for bill payments, though, compared to retail, in-store payments, as you might suspect would be the case at an early stage of mobile payments development in retail settings.

Some 64 percent of smart phone owners have used their device to make a bank payment or pay a bill, but just one percent have used their phone to make an in-store payment, Deloitte Digital says.

These figures are mirrored by similar conducted by Deloitte’s retail practice in the United States.  The Deloitte U.S. data suggests that mobiles influence about five percent of retail sales. Deloitte forecasts that by 2016, smart phones are likely to influence between 17 percent and 21 percent of U.S. retail purchases, equating to $628 billion to $782 billion in sales.

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