Download the study report for Next-Gen Retail: Mobile & Beyond.

Mobile information is reinventing shopping, both in-store and online. Recently, in anticipation of the holiday season, Google plotted indoor maps for thousands of retail locations worldwide to ease the frustration of navigating physical stores, while FaceCake’s Swivel technology is aiming to bypass the hassle of trying on clothes entirely with its virtual dressing room. And those are only a couple examples.

Given the rapidly evolving nature of retail, Latitude launched a study to understand better what shoppers want now and in the near future, as well as the need states underlying these desires. The study found that smartphones and tablets aren’t just making shopping more convenient and real-time; they’re fundamentally changing how people think about shopping and, by extension, their everyday lives. Mobile shopping makes people feel more relaxed, productive and informed, as well as more open-minded and receptive to discovering new things.

About the Research

The study included a survey of 909 smartphone owners, ages 20-59, from the U.S. and the U.K. Sixty-five percent also owned tablets, making them “dual owners.” The survey assessed shoppers’ mindsets, motivations, current behaviors and unmet needs around both online and physical retail. Alongside the survey, Latitude also conducted a separate generative, online activity to collect participants’ “future requests” for new ways to enhance their shopping experiences.

Select Key Findings from the Study Include:

  • Mobile Makes Us Smarter, Faster, Better at Shopping—and Life. Not surprisingly, saving time and money are key drivers of mobile shopping, but motivations do vary. For example, women tend to appreciate aspects of mobile that lead to more “productive” shopping; they are significantly more likely than men to go mobile because it eliminates waiting in line and because it’s something they can do while multi-tasking. On the other hand, men are attracted to mobile because it streamlines shopping by offering better-curated options—which means fewer items to sift through.

    However, the perks of mobile shopping extend beyond just retail experiences. The vast majority (88%) of people agree that having a mobile device with real-time information makes them more spontaneous with shopping and, in general, more open to discovering new things.

  • In-Store Retail Should Tech Up. Shoppers are craving more from their in-store shopping experiences; they see possibilities to infuse physical stores with mobile and other connected technologies—to offer product information, mitigate frustrations (e.g., waiting in the check-out line), personalize the experience, and so on. Seventy-nine percent of participants are interested in having digital content (e.g., demo videos, product recommendations, information about a product’s origin, etc.) delivered to their mobile phones while shopping in a store.

  • Click here to view a larger version. Infographic created by Latitude in collaboration with FFunction, (cc) some rights reserved.

  • A Great Mobile Experience is a Must-Have. Sixty-one percent of people have a better opinion of brands when they offer a good mobile experience. Developers should avoid the major pitfalls that are likely to render an app “delete-worthy,” which include replicating the normal website (i.e., not offering a tailored experience), hogging precious storage space on devices, and skimping on important features, among others. “A lot of shopping apps have too big of a footprint; that is, they’re too clunky, intrusive, or ad-heavy relative to how much value they deliver,” says one study participant. “They need to offer an experience that justifies taking up storage space on my phone.”

  • Click here to view a larger version. Infographic created by Latitude in collaboration with FFunction, (cc) some rights reserved.

  • Mobile Transactions are Gaining Traction. Not surprisingly, younger generations are leading the charge when it comes to transacting from their mobile devices. Smartphones are selected more often than laptops as a favorite purchasing platform by 20-29 year-olds.

    Pushing beyond occasional purchasing from their smartphones, shoppers of all ages are looking for a more comprehensive mobile payment platform. Eighty percent are interested in a “mobile wallet”—particularly if it enables them to skip on carrying cash or credit cards entirely.

Additional Findings:

  • 63% of people expect to be doing more shopping on their mobile devices over the next couple years. (Only 3% expect to be doing less.)
  • 81% of smartphone owners agree, “because I have a mobile device, I am constantly shopping.”
  • 85% reported that being able to shop on mobile devices increases the likelihood of actually making a purchase.
  • 50% say that a well-executed, location-aware mobile alert makes them more likely to visit the store soon.
  • 60% of smartphone owners have used a mobile device while shopping in a store.

To explore more insights and opportunities, download the full study report for Next-Gen Retail: Mobile & Beyond.


Study Architect & Lead Designer:
Kadley Gosselin, Content & Communications Manager

Study Architect & Lead Writer:
Kim Gaskins, Director of Content Development

Supporting Analyst:
Natalie Stehfest, Senior Research Analyst

Editorial Oversight:
Neela Sakaria, EVP/Managing Director


Latitude is an international research consultancy helping clients create engaging content, software and technology that harness the possibilities of the digital world. To learn more about working with Latitude, fill out this form or send an email to info@latd.com.