By Ryan Garner (GfK) and Alex Kozlof (IAB UK)
The irrepressible tide of smart, connected, mobile devices is changing the way we shop at every stage of the purchase process. This poses new opportunities and challenges for product marketers and retailers in both the online and offline world.
The ‘always on’ nature of smartphones – not just in your pocket but also connected to the internet – makes them the perfect companion for shoppers throughout the entire purchase journey, both online and offline. Recent research by the IAB and GfK shows that while PCs (laptops and/or desktop computers) are still the most used devices throughout the online purchase process, smartphones are an increasingly important complement to existing methods of shopping. The number of shoppers using smartphones will inevitably increase, but this usage will in many cases be in conjunction with the PC or an aid to the consumer while in store. Indeed, the research showed that the most common behaviour was for the smartphone and PC to be used together in the purchase process rather than independently.