Two studies show that many consumers shop with their smartphones while in store aisles, mainly looking for coupons, comparing prices or seeking product reviews. Relatively few purchase on their phones, though one report suggests that number is growing.

One study of how consumers shop for consumer packaged goods—everyday items such as canned soup, paper towels and laundry detergent—shows 65% of consumers use their mobile devices during the shopping process to search for coupons, compare prices or to create or access a shopping list. Only 15% say they buy consumer packaged goods from their mobile phones. But that could increase, as a third expect to make a mobile purchase of these goods in 2015, according to the study commission by SessionM, a provider of mobile-focused marketing loyalty technology.

The study also found that 82% of consumers say they prefer to shop for these everyday purchases in stores versus online, either on a computer or mobile device. The study garnered responses from more than 50,000 mobile users, SessionM says.

A separate study by Retale, which provides retailer circulars to consumers via a mobile app, looked at how the young parents—those ages 18 to 34—use smartphones to shop. The study of more than 500 consumers found that 85% of those millennial generation moms and dads use smartphones to help them shop at physical stores.

While both moms and dads use their phones a lot to shop, they use them differently, the study says. Dads most often use their smartphones to check product reviews (53%), compare prices (52%) and find nearby stores (50%). Moms are most likely to search for coupons and deals (66%), access saved coupons (62%) and compare prices (62%). Only 42% of moms say they use their phones to check product reviews, while 49% of dads say they use their mobile devices to search for coupons and deals.


76% of moms and 64% of dads say they are likely to make a purchase with a coupon or deal they receive to their smartphone while in or near a store. And 45% of moms and 32% of dads say they are very likely to purchase with such an incentive.

40% of millennial moms and 22% of dads say they never shop without a deal, while 19% of fathers and only 5% of mothers say they rarely or never take advantage of deals.

“Millennial moms and dads use their mobile devices to support brick-and-mortar shopping in different ways,” says Pat Dermody, president of Retale. “However, despite varying preferences, it is clear that to meet the demands of both groups, retailers and retail service providers must lean heavily on mobile to compel online-to-offline engagement and sales.”

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