Is Mobile Winning The In-Store Assistance Battle?


When it comes to learning about a product while walking around a traditional brick-and-mortar store, some consumers ask for help from a store associate, while others turn to their mobile device.

In the current retail battle of eCommerce versus brick-and-mortar, the way in which consumers seek out help while shopping in-store may have a profound impact on which side will ultimately win the war.

Product content management platform company Salsify‘s latest research reveals that mobile is winning.

According to the study’s findings, 77 percent of shoppers use a mobile device while shopping in-store, while just 35 percent reach out to a salesperson for product questions. While some would think that this outcome is perhaps due to lack of product knowledge by the sales associates, it was actually found that 87 percent of consumers are seeking out rich and accurate product content to help make the buying decision. This lends itself to not just store signage and brochures but also to those store employees with a deep product understanding.

Salsify’s cofounder and CEO, Jason Purcell, shared his take on the research findings and what it means for retailers. He said, “Consumers are increasingly turning to their mobile devices to answer product-related questions, like price and availability, while they shop. This year’s research again demonstrates just how critical it is for every brand and retailer to have a systematized approach to maintain robust and relevant digital content to retain shopper attention and win sales.”

When it comes down to it, the battle of mobile versus sales associate assistance shows that consumers want readily available information. Whether that comes from mobile devices or sales associates shouldn’t matter, but the fact that more consumers are turning to mobile is a sign to retailers.


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