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Smartphone usage while shopping in-store is now the norm. January 2014 polling by Thrive Analytics and the Local Search Association found that the majority of US smartphone users in each age demographic studied used their phones at least sometimes while shopping in brick-and-mortar stores—and few felt guilty about it.
Unsurprisingly, the highest usage levels were among respondents in the youngest age group, 18- to 29-year-olds, with nearly all saying they took out their smartphones while in-store. Still, even around seven in 10 of those ages 54 and older had done so.
Smartphones are also playing a role in whether consumers step up to the cash register. In the survey, nearly two-thirds of Gen Xers and Yers said they had decided not to make an in-store purchase based on information they found via smartphone.
Baby boomers and seniors were more likely to stick with their original plans, with just 45% of 44- to 53-year-olds and 37% of those 54 and older saying they had given up on buying something in a physical store after finding information on their smartphones about the item.
The majority of respondents said they used their smartphones in physical stores to compare prices, and the Thrive Analytics/Local Search Association research indicated that showrooming was the top reason shoppers changed their minds about a purchase after doing so. Around two in five shoppers of all ages had decided against an in-store purchase after finding a better price online.
November 2013 polling by Accenture found high showrooming levels among US digital shoppers, with 72% saying they had bought digitally after browsing at a store.
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