Lauren Goode

Recent Posts by Lauren Goode

Memo to Lady Staring at Her Smartphone at Target: You’re “Mobile Shopping,” Even If You’re Not Buying

Is your mobile shopping impacting retailers — even if you don’t ever purchase anything from your smartphone or tablet?

Some analysts said yes. (For the record, we at AllThingsD are dubious. But, for the moment, we’re going to pretend that not spending dough on stuff is just like spending dough on stuff.)

Andrew Lipsman, an analyst at comScore, insisted there’s little distinction between whether consumers make the transaction on the phone or whether they later go home and make a purchase on a computer.

“It’s just the introduction of mobile devices into the brick-and-mortar environment that’s affecting consumer behavior,” Lipsman said.

According to recent comScore data, 37 percent of shoppers this past quarter displayed “showrooming” behavior — the act of price-checking using a mobile device while shopping in a traditional brick-and mortar-store. That’s compared with 32 percent of showrooming shoppers in the second quarter of the year. (Note to the math-challenged: This is a small increase, given the explosive growth of smartphones over the last year.)

But Forrester analyst Sucharita Mulpuru echoed Lipsman’s statement in a recent blog post, noting: “Most of the showrooming shoppers told us that they usually find cheaper prices online when they research them … A lot of people switch retailers when they find cheaper prices online.”

It’s apparently not all bad news for brick-and-mortar, though. As Forrester’s Mulpuru pointed out, some research leads not only to, but to another store. About 18 percent of mobile shoppers surveyed opted to head to another store to make a purchase, while just 15 percent said they went online instead.

Key takeaway: We’ll buy lots of stuff in lots more ways.

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus