If there’s a single device that can be “blamed” for the struggles of brick-and-mortar retail today, it’s probably the smartphone. Ecommerce websites have been around for a few years, but the ability to take those sites on the road in the form of mobile apps and responsive ecommerce web experiences truly changed the game. The smartphone essentially converted all physical retail locations into giant window shops—consumers can instantly compare prices online and make a purchase from a competitor while in your store.
In fact, a recent survey conducted by market research firm GfK found that 40 percent of shoppers use their smartphones while in a physical store to either compare prices or contact a friend for advice. Another 23 and 22 percent buy products through an app or mobile website respectively.
In a blog, GfK Regional Director Karthik Venkatakrishnan tried to explain how, even though they’ve helped create these struggles for retailers, smartphones can transform the industry for the better.