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Consumers are buying at competitors whilst inside shops

Have a read of this text from Internet Retailer — it’s not a suspicion. It’s a reality. I do it regularly. I see something I want or need, then either:

a) I buy it (good for the shop I’m currently in)
b) I find they don’t have the thing I need in stock, so I get it on Amazon
c) They’re charging ridiculous prices, so I get it on Amazon
d) I’m annoyed by the physical shop’s policies/prices/rubbish staff, so I get it on Amazon

Retailers with suspicions that smartphone-wielding consumers inside their stores are pricing products at competitors and buying elsewhere may be onto something. According to a survey of 360 smartphone and tablet users, 40.6% of them have done just that, says Prosper Mobile Insights, a mobile commerce technology company that commissioned the survey.

via Mobile Commerce – Evidence mounts that consumers are shopping competitors inside stores – Internet Retailer.

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

8 replies on “Consumers are buying at competitors whilst inside shops”

Shops need to remain competitive at price, service etc and this has not happened so they slowly lose the battle with everything except those few things you need immediately. Most retailers are not keeping up with the times or delivering better value to the consumer.

I could not agree more, many shops don’t seem to even consider that consumers might care more about quality, service, delivery, the end to end package. They don’t need to necessarily compete on price, but please just compete. In most cases it seems they don’t even bother to consider competing but try to hit the last few people that don’t shop online or would rather purchase from a local store. Offer more choice, service, warranty, repair, whatever it is that makes your customers happy.

Absolutely and we seem to be going more this direction, self serve pay stations, less than knowledgeable or helpful staff. You can find a few exceptions but it is starting to be harder and harder to find. This is not black magic, people are people but they need to feel appreciated, well handled and the products/services rendered in a easy and high quality manner. 

When we are faced with the absence of this we resort to purchasing online due to the speed, flexibility, price, and lack of a pain in the arse retailer in the middle. 

A simple example could be the Apple purchase on your Iphone app and walk out of the store with said product. This is self service and serves both the retailer and the customer. The transaction costs Apple a fraction of the cost of a human transaction and lets the customer get on with the day.

I’ve done this myself many a time, usually in HMV. Good example was a box set, £50 in the store I was in, or £14 from Amazon, no brainer really. Still I’m happy to pay a little more in store for expensive goods, my Amp, Speakers and TV were all bought instore at Richer Sounds. They offer good service, have friendly staff and the No Quibble Guarantee is excellent, I probably paid a little bit more than I would online, but I got a good service, and could see and hear what I was buying.

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