Shoppers Would Rather Stare At Their Phones Than Talk To A Salesperson

When you’re shopping at a store in the real world, would you rather have a conversation with a sales associate or look up information on your own mobile phone? The results of a study by the Consumer Electronics Association will shock nobody who has ever received inaccurate or misleading information from a salesperson, or had to get away from an aggressive salesperson who wants nothing more than to close a sale.

Sometimes there’s no substitute for browsing in person, but the CEA’s research shows that 58% of consumers would prefer to find information on their phone rather than asking someone. Shoppers are whipping out their phones in all kinds of retail environments: 60% do so while shopping for electronics in person, and 55% of people check their phones while shopping for groceries. While it’s not a majority, a large number of consumers will look things up on their phones while shopping for clothes, shoes, or health and grooming products as well.

Customers who are most likely to shun human interaction are those who are between ages 18 and 44, and men. What are they looking up on their phones? They’re most likely to check prices while shopping for electronics, the CEA reports, but may also look up customer reviews or general information.

Shoppers are often using retailer apps or manufacturer websites to do their in-store research, and a solid majority (81%) of customers say that they would be willing to give up personal information like their contact information or GPS location to receive discounts or rewards from a retailer.