BOSTON, April 18, 2013 - While 53 percent of women have between one and five shopping apps on their smartphone, they would still much rather shop for clothes and shoes in a retail store, reports a new study published by mobile-retail marketing platform provider Swirl (http://www.swirl.com). The independent study of 1,000 women shoppers, titled "What Women Want When Apparel Shopping," found that retailers should focus their mobile strategies more on enhancing the in-store shopping experience – where 76 percent of women prefer to shop – than enabling online sales transactions on mobile phones. The study also revealed that women are willing to share personal information with retailers as long as they receive value in return. An infographic illustrating the study findings can be downloaded here.
While many retailers are busy building out mobile commerce capabilities, the reality is that the vast majority of women don't like to purchase clothes and shoes using their mobile phones. Swirl's research found that just one percent of women prefer to buy apparel using mobile apps and sites compared to 76 percent who prefer shopping in-store. What do women like least about the in-store shopping experience? Crowds (84%), transportation and parking (70%), and interacting with sales associates (45%) were the least liked aspects of shopping in-store.
While smartphone-connected shoppers are now commonplace in retail stores, women are still much more likely to seek style advice from family or friends who are shopping with them (37%) than from a retailer's mobile app/site (9%). Even when an item is unavailable in store, only 22 percent of women will use that retailer's mobile app or site to buy the item. Most shoppers don't currently have a strong enough reason to engage with retailers on their mobile phones while they shop in-store.
Personalized offers and content hold strong allure for female shoppers. According to the survey, 50 percent would willingly share their phone's location and other personal information with a retailer in return for an in-store credit, gift, flash sale or early access to new styles. For 47 percent, the price tag for sharing location information is just $5. Women are almost twice as likely to value a personalized offer delivered to their smartphone while shopping in a store (58%), than being reminded of an in-store sale by a sales associate (33%) or making a purchase from an online flash sale site (31%).
"Women overwhelmingly prefer to shop for clothes and fashion in retail stores rather than online via their smartphones or laptops," said Hilmi Ozguc , Swirl's CEO. "That is not going to change dramatically anytime soon. Retailers have a huge opportunity to use mobile technology to influence shoppers by delivering personalized content and offers where and when they matter most – while customers are shopping in their stores."
Swirl commissioned independent research firm ResearchNow to study the apparel shopping behaviors and preferences of 1,000 smartphone-owning women shoppers from March 25-26, 2013. The margin of error for this study is +/- 3 percent.
Swirl is a mobile-retail marketing platform provider that is helping retailers leverage the power of mobile to understand and influence in-store consumer behavior. The company is led by an accomplished entrepreneurial team with deep consumer mobile, digital media, social marketing and e-commerce experience. Swirl is backed by top-tier investors including SoftBank Capital, General Catalyst Partners and Longworth Venture Partners. Find them at swirl.com and in the Apple App Store.
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