Mobile 2 Go Blog: Death of Retail Greatly Exaggerated

Despite new age of mobile, don't count stores out yet, says Gallup poll

Angel Abcede, Senior Editor/Tobacco, CSP

Mobile 2 Go (CSP Daily News / Convenience Store)

OAKBROOK TERRACE, Ill. -- Raise your hand if you thought mobile retailing was going to take a significant chunk out of the retail shopping mix.

OK, along with me, you can put your hands down now.

Apparently it's too early to write the obituary to retail as we know it, according to a recently released Gallup poll that says many people are actually shopping more as they use their mobile devices.

A study done in March by the Princeton, N.J.-based Gallup organization found over half of respondents said mobile technology did not affect their rate of in-person shopping at stores. Remarkably, 22% said the amount of in-person shopping actually increased, with only 19% saying their store visits have decreased.

Of course, the concern was that the low overhead of online and mobile shopping would make items cheaper to get versus at the store, but Gallup officials said retailers have fought back, becoming pickup places for items bought online and reaching out with their own mobile and social messages.

Gallup notes that younger people are likely to have increased in-person shopping, with one of the causes being they don't have credit cards. It also pointed out that older, more affluent study participants did shop less in stores, perhaps because they are financially able to do so (being credit-card holders as well as valuing convenience more) and they have the devices.

The larger point seems to be one of diversity and variety. Checks did not replace cash. Nor did plastic replace either. People will probably integrate mobile technology into their shopping habits to do less or more of any particular option--depending on convenience. Where are they that day? What side of the street are they on? Are they bored, in a hurry or dead serious about what they want to buy?

Time will tell. But today, it seems brick and mortar just found firmer ground.

Angel Abcede, CSP/Winsight By Angel Abcede, Senior Editor/Tobacco, CSP
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