Shoppers with Mobiles – who are the winners?

Posted by Gareth Rees

September 19, 2014


I’m a serious fan of online shopping, not only because I’m busy but also as it makes my customer experience easy and when I can use it to leave real-time customer feedback - even better!

It doesn’t stop when you go out either. A few months ago I was in well known electrical and computer store looking for a new game for my son – there is still something special about a 10 year old spending his birthday money in person.

As I was looking around, I noticed a shiny new television well merchandised and showing a massive discount, and I was so tempted that I almost bought it right there and then. I did stop myself, however, and decided to check the price on my smart phone and with only a few clicks I found the same TV at a lower price available and ready to order there and then.

I still wanted that instant gratification so I waited for a salesperson (which took longer than I normally would have been willing to wait) and asked him if he would match the price if I bought it today.

His response not only surprised me, but wound me up a little, he said “that’s the price and we don’t match the internet”

I said thank you, took my son to buy his present and left the store. And in less than the time it took for me to reach my car, I had purchased the TV from the internet and had it booked to arrive the next day – I was quite smug about that.

Reflecting on it later I realised that the bricks and mortar store had lost out not just with the sale but also the ability to learn something from their customers. Not only did I spend my money somewhere else (while still in their car park) but they have no idea I did it.

But what if I was able to let them know – in the moment feedback - while still in their car park feeling irritated by their salesman (so much so I bought a TV on a whim) - I would have been happy to tell them how they lost the sale and how easy it was to buy it elsewhere with a mobile phone.

That’s the point - I would never have bothered to go back to them when I got home, they didn’t have my details to ask me, but if, as I walked out of the store, I could have used my mobile to send them my feedback, they would know their policies had lost them a sale, and that I was unlikely to check their prices for similar goods in the future.

Mobile phones are letting shoppers flex their buying power and without real-time customer feedback, those shops are losing out to the tech savvy online stores who offer a quick and easy customer experience.

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Topics: Online Customer Experience, Mobile Customer Experience

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