Smartphone shopping expected to peak globally: Report

21 May '18
3 min read

Smartphone shopping is expected to peak globally in the coming few years with 43 per cent surveyed already making purchases on their phone weekly, says a recent report. Majority of smartphone shoppers expect most people to have a personal shopping advisor within 3 years. There is an emerging demand for digital assistants to help with purchase assistants.

The Ericsson Consumer & IndustryLab’s report ‘Beyond smartphone shopping – the rise of smart assistants’ describes how connectivity is driving two major shifts in how people shop. The ongoing surge to use smartphones to pay for goods and services is leading to a second shift involving the use of shopping assistants.

Soon smartphone users will rely on digital assistants in their phones for aspirational shopping support, says the report. Selecting the type of shopping assistant for home and personal purchases will soon be more important than the actual purchase decision. For example, 63 per cent of smartphone shoppers want help with price comparisons and 48 per cent want help making shopping decisions easy – a likely role for a personal shopping advisor.

The report is based on a survey of advanced internet users in ten influential cities globally. The sample makes up only a fraction of shoppers worldwide but was chosen because the digital technology used by these respondents puts them at the forefront of the fundamental changes we see sweeping retail around the world.

"While fascinating in their own right, fast-changing consumer shopping behaviours are important to understand for anyone involved in 5G, smart homes, consumer IoT and artificial intelligence" said Michael Björn, head of research at Ericsson Consumer & IndustryLab. "When consumers start employing artificial intelligence (AI) to automate everyday purchasing, this will create demand for IoT enabled sensors as well as a need for people to connect appliances in their homes."

Digitalisation of shopping raises questions about the future of the physical store as well. Consumers expect augmented reality/virtual reality (AR/VR) technology to bring all the benefits of physical stores. More than half believe the effect of fewer people going to stores will be an increase in home deliveries. This indicates a connectivity-driven future for retail both for digital shopping experiences and automation of deliveries.

The report presents insights based on an online survey (carried out in January 2018) of 5,048 advanced internet users in Johannesburg, London, Mexico City, Moscow, New York, San Francisco, São Paulo, Shanghai, Sydney and Tokyo. Respondents were aged 15 to 69 and fit the profile of urban early adopters and represent 50 million of the 180 million living in these cities. (KD)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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