As brick-and-mortar retailers continue trying to outwit their ecommerce rivals in the ongoing battle for consumer love, new research shows that shoppers’ true preference is to use both mediums complementarily—consumers are increasingly making final, in-store purchasing decisions based on info they’re finding via mobile-phone research right in the store, according to a new study from digital media tech firm Yieldbot, in partnership with Kantar Retail.

The research reveals that the three most important factors in a consumer’s buying behavior are friends, family and their mobile phone. While word-of-mouth advice from friends and family remains the top resource for building a product consideration set, mobile advertising was found to be as influential in making a final purchase decision. In addition, for new product information, mobile ads are on par or outperform brand/retail information sources and social media.

Yieldbot president Chris Copeland said the goal of the research was to better understand how mobile is influencing in-store shopping behaviors, and to evaluate various types of mobile advertising to understand their respective roles in consumers’ purchase decisions.

“Everyone knows that mobile devices are gaining in influence. We wanted to help brands quantify that influence and provide guidance on how they can be relevant to consumers before they buy in-store,” Copeland said, in a news release, adding that relevancy is the number one requirement for consumers to consider advertising before in-store purchases.

The categories included in the study ranged from regularly purchased products like food to less frequently purchased products like women’s beauty and consumer electronics. Additional categories covered in the survey included baby products; beer, cider, FMB; and dry/canned goods.

Additional findings included the following:

  • More than one-third of all shoppers indicated that they were open to outside influences in the buying process.
  • Most shoppers start thinking about their product decision two-to-three days before purchasing, with the exception of consumer electronics, where most consumers start at least two-to-three weeks prior to purchase.
  • 52 percent of Millennials selected mobile ads as their go-to source for product information while 48 percent of them found mobile video ads the most helpful when making purchasing decisions
  • Baby product shoppers are more likely to remember mobile video ads as well as find them helpful, while other category purchasers prefer banner ads.
  • Shoppers in all categories show consistent or increased mobile usage in stores over time—particularly where the average shopper is younger.
  • Baby product and beer shoppers are consistently the most engaged with mobile research, and are the most attached to their mobile devices while shopping.
  • Shoppers in all categories show consistent or increased value-seeking behavior on their mobile phones in-store and, similarly, shoppers in all categories are driven to purchase products in-store based on coupons they find on their mobile devices.

Download the complete report here.

In the online survey, 1,200 shoppers participated. Respondents were both male and female females, aged 21-65, had used smartphones for researching and/or shopping, and were the primary household shopper and purchase decision maker for the category.

The complete survey can be found here.

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