This is slick – research report says women appear to want to shop in a store but once there they like apps that point out deals.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON. April 19, 2013.   In the no-kidding department of research, a new study found that even though more than half (53%) of women have up to five shopping apps on their smartphones, most (76%) prefer to shop for clothes and shoes in a retail store rather than through an app.

While hardly a surprise, the same study also contains some insights for how marketers and retailers can engage with female shoppers on location.

There are some obvious areas where mobile can’t compete with what women want in stores. For example, the study by Research Now looked at the apparel shopping behaviors and preferences of 1,000 smartphone-owning women shoppers and found what they like about in-store shopping:

    92% — See and touch clothes and shoes

    90% — Try on clothes for fit

    72% — Explore and discover new styles.

No rocket science there.

Research suggests woman can be drawn to a product they did not plan to buy with an app that gives them a special offer. That is slick merchandizing manipulation.

What they don’t like about in-store shopping:

    84% — Crowds

    70% — Transportation and parking

    45% — Interacting with sales people

    41% – Trying to find their size

Mobile interaction can deal with at least the last two of those issues, by automating some interactions and providing real-time inventory information.

Women shoppers also are interactive while in the store, based on the ResearchNow study, which was commissioned by mobile company Swirl.

While in-store, they seek information from the following sources:

    37%– Family and friends shopping with them

    21% — Shopping and lifestyle apps and websites

    15% — In-store sales associates

    14% — Family and friends not with them

    9% — Retailer’s branded mobile app or website

Shopping is no longer just a customer browsing through the aisles – with today’s computer technology they can track you as you walk from department to department and show you what they think you might buy – and make you a “special” offer.

The opportunity for retailers and mobile marketers is that women shoppers will act based on incentives. For example, while a third of them love it when reminded of in-store sales by a sales associate, a majority (58%) said they would be “thrilled” if they received a personalized offer on their smartphone while in the store.

The study also found that while 17% of women shoppers would not share their location, most would, based on the following incentives:

    83% — $15 in-store credit

    47% — $5 in-store credit

    20% — $1 in store credit

There is hardly a limit as to what the retailer won’t do to get those dollars from your wallet into their cash register – maybe that should be from your credit card into their banks accounts.

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