Got mobile? Shifting consumer behavior is 'too large for retailers to ignore'

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT'S IMPORTANT — Once again, mobile capabilities made headlines as a study by ComScore revealed that nearly 86 million Americans are now shopping on their smartphones. To put it another way: That’s 4-out-of-5 smartphone users.

(THE NEWS: Survey: 4-out-of-5 smartphone users access retail content. For the full story, click here.)

The traditional brick-and-mortar retailers with the largest reach were Walmart and Target. Speaking of Target, which had 10 million smartphone visitors, the big-box retailer has now announced that those Target shoppers who receive the retailer's mobile coupons now can access them on their iPhone or iPod Touch via Passbook.

Meanwhile, a new study from Deloitte stated that using apps and mobile websites while shopping accounted for a 5% bump in retail sales in the United States this past year, equating to $159 billion in in-store sales. Fueled by the rise in apps and mobile websites catering to shoppers, as well as smartphone ubiquity, Deloitte forecasts that the impact of smartphones on retail in the United States will rise to 17% to 21% — working out to $628 million to $782 million in sales by 2016.

Clearly, those retailers that want to remain competitive need to become increasingly multichannel and implement mobile strategies to better reach today’s tech-savvy, connected consumer.

In fact, the National Retail Federation, in partnership with its member companies, has launched a new initiative to address the challenges and opportunities of mobile retailing as the NRF has recognized the importance of mobile technologies that offer seamless cross-platform shopping experiences.

As ComScore SVP mobile Mark Donovan stated, "This pronounced shift in consumer behavior is simply too large for retailers to ignore, with the future of their business depending on how well they adapt to the new environment.”

In what ways are you, as a consumer, leveraging mobile technologies when shopping?