Mobile shopping study reveals phone use in store can negatively impact buying behaviors

mobile shopping study - man and woman using mobile phone

Texting while shopping in-store could increase the likelihood of making unplanned purchases.

A recent mobile shopping study has revealed that using a mobile phone in-store for purposes unrelated to shopping may impact buying behaviors. Sending text messages, making phone calls, checking emails, listening to music, etc. could lead to shoppers making unplanned purchases and forgetting the items they had intended to purchase.

Phone use unrelated to shopping negatively affects shopping behavior.

The researchers at Fairfield University, US, investigated how in-store shoppers were affected from using their phones for tasks other than shopping. They found that even when their phones were used for only a part of the shopping trip, these consumers were still more likely to make unplanned purchases or forget to buy the items they actually wanted.

“Our finding that phone use that is unrelated to shopping negatively affects shopping behaviour was in stark contrast to beliefs held by consumers,” said Dr. Michael Sciandara, corresponding author of the mobile shopping study, Science Daily Reports.

“The vast majority of shoppers we asked thought that mobile phones did not have any negative effect.”

The mobile shopping study was conducted using 231 participants.

The researchers asked 231 study participants to complete a simulated shopping task. Some of the participants refrained from using their phone. Others used their phone for unrelated tasks intermittently and other used their phone constantly.

All participants were shown a first-person perspective video of a person grocery shopping. The participants were provided with a shopping list of items and were asked to compare the list to the products the person in the video placed in the cart or picked up and put down.

The authors found that the participants who were the most phone dependent (those who excessively used the device) were at the highest risk of deviating from a shopping plan while they were using their phone for purposes unrelated to shopping.

However, the researchers did note that although using the phone for purposes not related to shopping appeared to have a negative impact on overall shopping behavior, consumers who engage with their mobile shopping study - man and woman using mobile phonemobile device for shopping-related use in-store may enhance and improve their shopping efficiency.

The mobile shopping study was published in the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science.

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