A recent article in Marketing Land cited two different studies (from InMarket and Euclid) to establish two pertinent facts: More than half of consumers use smartphones as part of their in-store shopping experience, but few of them are using the retailer’s own apps. While each study reported varying percentages of smartphone and app usage, the trend was consistent.

The main reason is that too many retail apps offer customers a terrible mobile experience and not enough value to move them off of Amazon. What’s more, many retail apps do not offer the retailer a comprehensive, platform-based solution — they’re just storefronts without the robust tools and back-end integrations to make the most of the mobile opportunity.

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It’s very well established that consumers use smartphones as shopping assistants in stores. We’re now getting into the nuances of how they use them and how marketers and retailers can be more effective in tapping that in-store usage.

A new survey from inMarket offers some insights and a bit of contradictory data to the growing body of information about in-store smartphone usage. The company examined the mobile shopping behaviors of 2,500 US smartphone owners who used their devices in stores.

Conducted between July and September, the study’s primary finding is that the most common in-store smartphone use case is shopping-related research (55 percent). No surprise there. What follows is “messaging unrelated to shopping” and “listening to music.”

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We know from numerous studies that consumers use their phones while shopping in stores.

For marketers, the obvious issue has always been about finding out exactly how shoppers are using their phones both before they travel to the store and then once they get there.

Most studies show that top of the list of what shoppers do is conduct product research and then check competitive pricing.

This matters, since so many consumers are using their phones to shop.

One recent study found that a large majority (83%) of consumers say their smart device is central to their shopping experience. That study, by Euclid Analytics, also found that 67% of consumers shop in stores because they like to see and touch products.

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