65% of consumers plan on using their smartphones to improve the in-store shopping experience

Mobile devices continue to bridge the gap between brands and consumers, according to new research from Mindshare UK, part of WPP, based on the responses from 1,000 smartphone owners in the UK.

The Future of Retail report highlights the continued growth of mCommerce as well as mobile payment and loyalty schemes. Indeed, 37% of consumers now use their mobile devices to research products whilst they shop, up from 28% in 2015. A majority of consumers (65%) say that they see themselves using mobile devices in the future to improve their in-store experience.

Given the rise in technologies such as Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality, brand experiences are likely to become even more immersive in the future.

Another key finding from the report reveals that store offers are likely to become more of a differentiation point with staff being an integral part of the experience. Fifty-one per cent of respondents agreed that they would be more likely to purchase from brands with interesting stores. That figure rises to 63% among the under 30-year-olds. A whopping 83% of consumers believe stores are important as they allow them to see and touch an item in person.

Meanwhile, six in 10 of the 25-34-year-olds find it easier to chat via text, messenger and online chats. Although 39% have never used a chat bot, they would consider using the technology.

Data and data collection are other important talking points for consumers. 65% say that they are very selective about the brands they share their data with, but once a brand has access to those insights, 56% feel that they should do a better job at personalising things.

The same goes for new technologies, with 60% of consumers believing that brands should keep up with new tech in order to improve the consumer experience.

David Walsh, Chief Business Officer at Mindshare UK, adds:

“We believe that audiences are our number one client. By creating valuable experiences for them, greater business value will be driven for brands. This is never truer than in the continually adaptive and constantly changing world of retail. With the increase in technical innovations and connected devices, consumer expectations of their shopping experiences are higher than ever before. This research report aims to highlight some of these key trends as well as providing actionable insight that brands can implement.”