Pre-purchase research continues to evolve, mostly due to the widespread adoption of smartphones. In the above graphic, from Google's recent "Multi-screen World" study of consumer behavior, 65% of shoppers start their research on a smartphone, versus 25% who start on a PC or laptop.
Even just a couple years ago, those numbers were reversed.
Matthew Creamer of Advertising Age recently interviewed Jonathan Alferness (Director of Product Management-Mobile Ads Lead at Google) about the multi-device study.
Alferness called the mobile channel an extremely valuable bridge from the digital world to the physical one.
"We're starting to drive meaningful value that wasn't possible on desktop," sald Alferness, as quoted by Creamer. "We're driving users to actual, physical retail stores to buy something."
Alferness also draws a parallel between e-commerce tracking (identifying online transactions originating from Google AdWord searches) and mobile commerce tracking (understanding when mobile is driving in-store sales), calling the latter "the holy grail."
Driving in-store traffic -- whether from the mobile channel, the online channel or simply from walk-in customers -- is a fundamental goal for us at iQmetrix. Our XQ Interactive Retail solutions are designed to bring elements of mobile and online shopping into the physical store, which is exactly what Alferness is prescribing here.
This approach, of course, is what omnichannel retail is all about: providing consistent and convenient customer experiences across all channels to maximize sales.