Published on in RetailDigital Transformation

The rise of the smartphone in retail reached new heights this week. A survey has confirmed more than a third of consumers are shopping for clothes through a mobile device without even trying them on.

In my opinion, this really underlines the success story of digital and retail.

According to the study from ING, a growing number of consumers are browsing on the move, with 35 per cent of people who own a smartphone or tablet buying clothes and just hoping they will fit. You can forget try before you buy, we are now in the age of buy before you try.

Speaking to more than 10,000 consumers across Europe, the study found three fifths (58%) of consumers with a mobile device have used it to buy goods or services in the last 12 months. Almost unsurprisingly, the biggest mobile shoppers were 25 to 34-year-olds, with nearly three quarters (74%) saying they had done online shopping through a mobile.

This trend very much mirrors what we’ve seen from our own research – with the demand for digital services both in-store and online greater than ever before.

According to Fujitsu’s recent Digital Insight Out report, one in four consumers always choose a digital option when it’s available from the retail sector. We also found online shopping, and click-and-collect services were the second and third most used digital services respectively.

This rise of impulse purchases and one-click buying highlights how the retail industry has transformed into a place where digital and mobile platforms are leading the way.

As we become an increasingly connected society, consumers expect all channels to work together seamlessly to provide the most efficient service possible, allowing them to create the ultimate shopping experience.

The ‘buy before you try’ phenomenon has the potential to create a logistical nightmare for retailers in dealing with returned stock and monitoring it back through the supply chain.

However, digital services can also allow retailers to gain a greater understanding of their business by providing them with a clear picture of stock as well as clients.

What retailers must remember is that as the demand for digital continues to grow at such a rapid pace, they must ensure they keep the consumer at the heart of the experience by maintaining a strong physical presence.

This will allow retailers to create a balanced, efficient offering that caters for all customers.


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Rupal Karia

Head of Public & Private Sectors at Fujitsu UK & Ireland
Rupal leads Fujitsu's business serving public and private sector organisations in the UK, encompassing Retail, Hospitality, Public Sector & Government, Manufacturing, Utilities, Telecoms and Services.

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