IDC Canada survey says ‘smartphones are increasingly affecting the way Canadians shop’

Canadians are finding new ways to find lower prices by “showrooming.” The official definition of showrooming “is the practice of examining merchandise in a traditional brick and mortar retail store without purchasing it, but then shopping online to find a lower price for the same item.”

A new report by IDC Canada was released and surveyed a small number of Canadians — 582 smartphone users between March 17th and March 23rd — that states “smartphones are increasingly affecting the way Canadians shop.” This has been a trend over the past couple years and the specific stats revealed:

  • 73% have called, texted or IM’ed someone to make sure they are buying the right thing.
  • 66% have taken a picture of an item and sent it to someone.
  • 61% have used their smartphone to find a store location or hours of operation.
  • 54% have typed a shopping list into the smartphone and checked it.
  • 46% have compared prices with another retailer while in a store.
  • 35% have found information on an item instead of asking a store employee.
  • 28% have scanned a QR code in a store.

IDC notes that people are downloading shopping apps to help them with their purchase decisions, but doesn’t mention the name of the apps. 69% of Canadian smartphone owners have downloaded at least one shopping app, with 34% having downloaded 3 or more shopping apps.

IDC’s Leslie Hand said “The mobile phone has become an essential component of the shopping experience. Collecting and sharing information to improve the efficiency and the ‘fun’ of shopping is just the tip of the iceberg. Consumers will soon be able to tailor their own level of interaction with retailers that accounts for what they are shopping for in context.”

From a Canadian carrier retail perspective, Rogers is leading the charge as they recently announced plans to jump deeper into the retail arena with the M2M Mobile Shopper program. This is an opt-in customer initiative that aims to ‘breathe new life into the Canadian retail experience’ by giving store owners/operators insight into buying habits, the ability to send mobile offers while shopping in-store, and the option to accept payments via their smartphone.

Shopping habits are certainly changing.