Shoppers More Likely to Use Smartphone For Help than Store Employees, Statistics Show

Smartphone User In Store

Simply put, our smartphones are amazing. While they can pilfer away our time through Angry Birds and Candy Crush, smartphones have practical uses that see the previous monotony of hour long treks whittled down to a few swipes on a screen that can see our phones do the job for us. In shopping they’re especially handy. When we’re not just bypassing brick and mortar stores altogether in favour of using the Amazon app, we’re comparing prices with that store’s competitor or we’re reading reviews of the product online and deciding whether or not to buy it. In theory, it makes the buying process much easier for us and we can find out whether we’re spending too much money on a shoddy product far easier than ever before, but in practice not only can it contribute to lesser sales for stores, according to new statistics it’s also making a store’s employees obsolete too.

The new statistics come from Deloitte, a professional services firm which provides consulting and analysis on industries and according to their research, there are few things that people aren’t using their smartphones for in-store instead of asking the salesperson. From looking up prices to just finding out if an item’s available, across the board people chose browsing on their handy smartphones for help than a friendly, face-to-face conversation with a store employee. 52% of people said that they would rather use their smartphone to look up product information in comparison to 20% who would rather just ask an employee for the info, overwhelming statistics when you consider the fact that the employee in question has probably been hired due to their specialised knowledge on the products in store, something which a quick scan of a product listing on a smartphone couldn’t give you.

While the stats are somewhat surprising (and are perhaps alarming if you’re a customer service employee), they do spell out a growing trend as stores become optimised for a technology-friendly generation. Plenty of stores have touchscreen self-checkouts alongside their human-manned tills and other stores boast payment options that you let you purchase things with your phone, both of which only help to reduce your time in a store and reduce the need for human employees. How stores address this or simply continue the trend will be interesting to see as Deloitte is a firm to be taking seriously if there ever was one, so we’ll keep you posted once we know more.

Via The Wall Street Journal.

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