5 Insights about Mobile Shopping Technologies & Consumer Adoption

Understanding how shoppers use mobile technology is step one in determining how to leverage it to drive store traffic and sales. Take a close look at what more than 3,000 active app users have to say about much-hyped mobile shopping technologies like Visit Tracking, iBeacon, In-Store Push Notifications, Near Field Communications, Wallet and Passbook.

See Survey Results

71% of mobile users say “please don't follow me” into a store.

Visit tracking has huge potential for companies trying to use smartphones to connect consumers' online behavior to offline activities. Using smartphone location data to track consumers into stores holds the promise of allowing companies to determine if online ad exposure leads to store visits.

For now the problem is more than 70% of the mobile users say they don't like the idea of being followed. Only 29% overall are not concerned with being monitored.

All users

Some retailers track your store visits using your smartphone.
28.94%: Ok, I don't mind.
71.06%: No, I don't want to be tracked.

The Apple Affect:
75% of mobile shoppers are unaware iBeacon technology exists.

Android users

What do you think about iBeacon?
4.35%: I like the possibilities it provides.
15.97%: I don't like the idea, it's too offensive.
79.68%: What is iBeacon?

iOS users

What do you think about iBeacon?
9.91%: I like the possibilities it provides.
20.69%: I don't like the idea, it's too offensive.
69.40%: What is iBeacon?

Push notification technology has been around for a while now, but Apple's iBeacon entrance into the space has made the conversation much more popular. However, there is one segment pushing back: consumers.

In fact, despite the potential consumer advantages, 56% say they are not interested in receiving push notifications in a store, while only 44% of mobile users surveyed want retailers to send them notifications while they are shopping.

The 411 on iBeacons. They can:

iOS vs Android: In-Store Push Notifications.

There is a difference however between iOS and Android users on their willingness to receive in-store push notifications: iOS users are nearly split in favor for and against notifications. The majority of Android users say they don't want notifications sent to their mobile devices while shopping.

Android users

Retailers plan to push notifications
on your smartphone
when you're in the store.

38.42%: Yes, why not?
61.58%: No, I don't need them.

iOS users

Retailers plan to push notifications
on your smartphone
when you're in the store.

50.24%: Yes, why not?
49.76%: No, I don't need them.

Clearly more than half don't even know what NFC is.

All users

Do you use NFC for payments?
5.62%: Yes, I do.
37.91%: No, I don't.
56.47%: What is NFC?

Retailers know that near field communications (NFC) is a contactless payment system used for mobile payments, but 56% of mobile shoppers don't know that. And the 38% who are familiar with the technology choose not to use it. Only 5% to 6% say they regularly use NFC to pay retailers.

Everyone understands money.

The majority of mobile users don't want to be tracked into a store with visit tracking (71%), and over half have never heard of NFC (56%). However, the vast majority (81%) are aware of mobile payment options such as Google Wallet. And 84% of iOS users are familiar with Apple’s virtual wallet, dubbed Passbook, designed to hold coupons, vouchers, travel and event tickets, and different types of loyalty and gift cards.

Despite widespread awareness of each, the vast majority have not used them.

Only 11% of Android users claim to use Google Wallet and 23% of iOS users have tried out Passbook for coupon shopping offers.

Android users

Do you use Google Wallet for payments?
11.43%: Yes, I do.
69.86%: No, I don't.
18.72%: What is Google Wallet?

iOS users

Do you use Passbook for coupons
and shopping offers?

23.44%: Yes, I do.
60.29%: No, I don't.
16.27%: What is Passbook?

What does this mean for retailers?

For retailers looking to maximize traffic and sales, understanding consumer motives and desires is the best way to improve the shopping experience. And that could mean helping consumers better understand the benefits of these technologies in order to break down the barriers to widespread adoption. Just like any new technology, however, it often takes time for consumers to catch up.

*All information is based on a study of more than 3,000 Retale app users in April 2014. See our press release for more information and visit our blog to read more about the study results.