Google’s latest survey with Ipsos MediaCT and Sterling Brands highlights the impact of smartphones and online research on in-store shopping.

Retailers are experiencing an interesting shift thanks to the role that smartphones play in consumer research through the purchasing process. Should they be able to find the local information they are looking for online, 3 in 4 shoppers are more likely to visit a local store to complete their purchase. But, the survey also finds that 2 in 3 shoppers were unable to find the local store information they needed online, and with 71% of in-store shoppers indicating that their smartphone has “become more important than their in-store experience”, there is a glaring need for local retailers to form an online presence.

Websites, online directories, mobile ads, search results and proprietary apps are powerful tools for connecting local stores with consumers. Local information can spark in-store visits:

  • 75% research the price of an item at a local store
  • 74% want to know if the item is in stock at a local store
  • 66% look for the location of the closest store, with an item in stock
  • 63% research details about local stores – hours, phone number, etc
  • 59% map the stores that carry the item they are looking for
  • 56% review what else is available at the store that carries the items they originally searched for

Consumers are also more likely to visit stores that provide personalized coupons and exclusive in-store offers, and those that feature reviews and recommendations online.

For the full survey, and to learn three common myths associated with the effects of online shopping on in-store purchases, click here.