Have smartphones changed the way we shop?

Have smartphones changed the way we shop?

The iPhone has just celebrated its 10th birthday and since being around for so long, it’s no surprise that it is beginning to play a huge part in our shopping experience.

It is only becoming easier for customers to shop and browse ecommerce sites on their smartphone. With responsive sites, apps and social media at our fingertips, retailers are taking advantage of the way their customers are behaving before they click the buy button.

Browse now, buy later

The age of the smartphone and ability to browse websites from mobile devices means many consumers use their smartphone to browse the site and then head in store to purchase. On the other hand, customers also go in store to get a feel for what they’re looking for then take a picture of the item or snap the product code so they can go home and confirm their purchase from the comfort of their sofa.

Avoiding the crowds

Mobile purchasing appeals to consumers, especially around busy periods. On Boxing Day, one of the most popular shopping days of the year, sales dropped considerably as people started their sale shopping at home on Christmas Day itself. Whilst recovering from a turkey coma, many consumers were eager to spend their money and get in there first to bag a bargain, whilst avoiding the Boxing Day crowds they could face.

Location, location, location

A handful of shopping apps have begun to use geolocation and send you a push notification with their latest offers and products as you walk past the store. Although this doesn’t mean that every customer will walk out with something in their hand, it gives retailers the opportunity to connect directly with the customer, which is something that all retailers can get on board with.


Showrooming is a technique many retailers are beginning to get on board with. It ensures that you remember that item you didn’t have time to buy. Clarks have embraced this new concept and completely redesigned their stores, making the shoes more memorable and their stores more social media-shareable. Creating an impactful impression and a positive in-store experience can make undecided customers more likely to make a purchase.

Customer Service  

With a majority of us becoming more social media savvy, many retailers have sought to improve their own presence on social media and create dedicated ‘help’ accounts. This makes them more accessible and responding to complaints and queries much quicker. Customers also feel like they are more likely to get a reply on social media, as with their complaints in the public eye, they want to be seen to improve the problems as quick as possible!


This year, we saw a handful of retailers and brands try their hand at chatbots using Facebook messenger. We wrote a blog post with our thoughts on chatbots, but this nifty feature allows customers to ‘chat’ directly to the retailer which then leads them on the path to purchase. Certain pizza delivery companies also allow their customers to place orders directly through Facebook messenger and send messages updating them on the progress of their order.

With the smartphone becoming an integrated part of our daily lives, it is no surprise that it is having a huge impact on the way we shop. From apps to chatbots, retailers are seizing the opportunities that (quite literally) lay in their palm of their customer’s hand. Smartphone shopping is well and truly here to stay!

Has your smartphone changed the way you shop? Let us know by dropping us a Tweet: @NeoPRLtd.

Neo PR

Blog posts from Team Neo PR.

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