The Effects of Shopping on a Smart Phone


As technology continues to evolve, so do our shopping and spending habits. Mobile technology provides the opportunity for persuasion anytime and anywhere. Specifically, timely persuasion means shoppers can be targeted at a time and place that will be most effective. Amazon’s Flow app, for example, lets shoppers point a smartphone camera at a product to see the price and customer reviews.

But smartphone shopping isn’t without its issues. One problem is translating the in-store shopping experience to an online environment. Clothing is a ‘high-involvement’ product that needs to be seen, tried on and touched to be evaluated (Workman, 2010). Touching clothes before purchasing has been shown to increase purchase intention (Peck & Shu, 2009). So, not having this opportunity should create some issues.

Image interactive technology (IIT), however, now lets people interact with products on their smartphones. We can now rotate items, zoom into a product and even see clothes worn by models on the catwalk – this makes online shopping feel a bit closer to the real thing.

Smartphones are also now seen as extensions of ourselves (Belk, 2012). This suggests that when we’re holding images of products on our smartphones, we are more likely to feel like they are ours – this increases purchase intention. The separation and lack of money handling also makes large purchases seem like less of a big deal, meaning browsing on our phones may be making us spend more.

This may be something to keep an eye on, especially when almost half (48%) of 18-34-year olds believe that online shopping will substitute their offline shopping almost completely in the future. Follow the link for more information on this survey by Emotional Logic: http://emotional-logic.co.uk/portfolio_page/half-of-all-under-35s-believe-all-their-future-shopping-will-be-online/