By Sue Wilkinson, Senior Director, Information Service & Research, Food Marketing Institute
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Did you know that in-store mobile phone use and actual mobile phone use patterns lead to increased purchases? These are the findings from a recent research study reported in the July 2018 issue of the Journal of Marketing. The study’s authors conclude that our mobile phones distract us. They divert us from our conventional shopping patterns, we spend more time in the store, and we spend more time examining products and prices on the shelves. This behavior results in buying more products.

Personally, I find the smartphone distracting because I don’t have enough hands to push the cart, fill the cart and use the smartphone to find recipes, coupons or send that text message home to find out who needs what. I’m not alone in using a mobile device while I shop. Findings from FMI’s 2018 U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends report indicate that 80 percent of shoppers currently use a smartphone in-store.

How are mobile devices being used in-store? Shoppers use that smartphone in-store to:

  • access digital coupons (53 percent);
  • check weekly sales at their primary store (49 percent);
  • look up recipes (43 percent);
  • read reviews of product brands (30 percent);
  • use the in-store product locator (25 percent);
  • scan QR codes or traditional barcodes of grocery items to compare pricing across stores (22 percent); or
  • to learn more about the nutritional value of grocery items (20 percent).

That’s a lot of distraction that can lead to increased sales. To learn more about the findings in this year’s U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends report.

Download U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends