A trend that has been seen quite frequently in recent months is the use of brands’ mobile technology by everyday consumers while they are physically in the stores of these brands. They do this usually for deals and promotions that are being offered by the brands, or to do a bit more research on the items that they are interested in buying in person. For brands, this is a pretty great marketing opportunity, allowing them to appeal to customers while they, themselves are looking to buy. Many brands already utilize their mobile presence as an effective marketing tool while consumers are in stores, but there are still brands that do not pay much attention to it. It is understandable, as it is only a small area to work with, but it is happening more and more as days pass. So, maybe it is something worth looking into.

I say this only because of a recent study that was reported by eMarketer today. The study was conducted by a branding solutions provider, G2 USA alongside the marketing research company Savitz Research. The study was based on the experience of consumers while in store, focusing on their use of brands’ mobile tools during store visits. Here is one of the more interesting results from the study, as reported by eMarketer:

The most prevalent attitude toward in-store mobile technology among all age groups was that when mobile technology didn’t work, consumers blamed the brand. US shoppers between the ages of 18 to 34 were the most likely to feel this way, at 57%.

Apparently, in-store mobile technology failures have become a pretty decent sized issue with consumers. There are many brand marketers that often fail to recognize how important the functionality of these tools is, as consumer interaction has to be smooth and efficient. If it is not, then it becomes an issue for the brand, because consumers have nobody else to blame. The fact that reputation means everything still holds true in this sense, because there are many times when a consumer will find one unfavorable issue with a certain brand, and put it out of sight forever.

Now, maybe I have overdramatized the importance of in-store mobile tools, but they surely cannot be taken for granted. In their article, eMarketer explains this idea:

The onus is then on brands to make sure that not only are they putting mobile technology out there to lead consumers down the purchase funnel, they are making double sure consumers have an easy time using that technology and aren’t just wasting their time loading and tapping—time they could be spending shopping and buying.

Although a good chunk of shopping does take place on the internet in today’s world, there is always going to be a lot of consumers who prefer to visit a store in person. These consumers can still be reached while they are ready to buy, but effective in-store tools are a necessity to do so. Otherwise, the entire shopping experience is out of brands’ hands.

What's your opinion?