• Mobile marketing decisive for frequency rate of inner-city retail
  • Time series analysis 2013 to 2017
  • Recommeded actions for traditional retailers

Berlin (November 15, 2017)
– What does the future look like for traditional retailers and the inner city? Over five consecutive years, the Hochschule Niederrhein asked more than 2,000 shoppers about their smartphone and buying habits. The new representative results of the survey “Retail Study 2017” commissioned by Bonial Germany (www.bonial.de) and together with the German Retail Association (HDE) are available today. The expectations placed on the online presence of retailers in the inner city are high. As this guide to mobile internet usage from broadbandsearch demonstrates, the use of the mobile internet has gained tremendous importance – when preparing to shop and in order to generate a higher rate of inner-city trade.

Smartphones play a key role in the future of traditional retail stores

Already more than 83 percent of German adults use the mobile internet and would like to prepare their purchases on their mobile phones or tablets from any location. The majority of non-food purchases already follow this pattern. The tendency is increasing – even for groceries. Therefore, products and offers from retailers should definitely be made available in an mobile optimized form. Here shoppers prefer interactive advertising platforms that are accessed by 34 percent of shoppers via the App at least once a month and by 27 percent on the website. The content presented here should above all contain the price (86 percent) and availability (72 percent). The study also shows: The use of the mobile web as a shopping companion is relevant for nearly all customers and age groups today.

Reasons for inner-city shopping

The main reason for going into the city is when a certain product is required and bought directly. This is the reason for a visit to the inner city given by 48 percent and thus almost half the shoppers. In comparison, only 28 percent of customers, which is more than a quarter, cite a stroll through the inner city as the reason to visit the city. Generally, the trend to find information about products using a device and/or an App is growing when making purchases in the city (32 percent). Almost a quarter of those surveyed consider the information on the internet better and 22 percent even think the staff in stores is incompetent. Here action is required so that shoppers are not lost to online vendors based on incorrect assumptions.

Expectations of online presences in the inner city are high

The demand for online presences in the inner city is high. Almost half (45 percent) want all the information about retailers in the city to be available online. More than half of the persons surveyed would make use of a service that delivers goods not available from stores in the inner city to their home free of charge (52 percent). An equally high number of those asked think that the availability of products from stores in the inner city should be stated on the internet. 21 percent wish that the stores could be accessed on kaufDA.

Prof. Dr. Gerrit Heinemann from eWeb Research Center and head of the study: “A mobile presence and mobile optimization are far more than just something nice-to-have. Today it’s increasingly about “mobile only”. For retailers it is essential to give customers the option to prepare their over-the-counter purchases via their smartphone. This is without a doubt the key to saving the inner city.”
Stephan Tromp, deputy Managing Director of the German Trade Association / HDE: “Many retailers would like to contact their customers on a mobile device, offer services and make offers via a location-based service. Therefore, HDE is supporting the efforts made by Bonial/kaufDA, to explore the customers’ point of view and present the development over the past five years.”
Frederic Handt, Managing Director Bonial Deutschland: “Marketing has changed more over the last two years than it has over the last 50 years. In a world where customers inform themselves, Apps become the personal managers for local purchases. A mobile first perspective is therefore vital for traditional retail stores and influences the rate at which the inner city is frequented.”

The five strategic action recommendations of this study:

  1. Traditional retailers must state essential information clearly: range and available stock, opening times and accesses.
  2. In 2017, shoppers are demanding a “wide selection of available goods” from local retailers for the first time.
  3. Consumers want to be in charge: Information has to be available immediately via pull through, non-personalized push offers can quickly turn negative.
  4. Three quarters of those surveyed think that the information on the internet is better and 22 percent that the staff in stores is not competent enough. Here action is required so that shoppers are not lost to online vendors based on incorrect assumptions!
  5. Half of those asked would like goods not available in stores in the inner city to be delivered to their home free of charge.


The Study:

The published research study on “Future and Potential of location-based services for traditional retail stores”, currently in its fifth year, shows the current status of location-based use of smart phones (location-based services, LBS) in a time series comparison conducted from 2013 to 2017. To obtain a study representing all of Germany, the market research company INNOFACT AG asked a total of 2024 people from the age of 14 and older in a two-stage study. In the context of this year’s study, customer expectations regarding the online presence of stores within the inner city and the use of smart phones to prepare for buying were focused on.

Download the study with a preface by HDE here (in German):

The “Retail Study 2017” will be presented at the Deutscher Handelskongress in Berlin:

Thursday 16 November 2017, 12h20 – 13h50, “Cross-Channel Excellence through Mobile Advertising – How local online presences increase the rate at which retail stores are frequented”

More information: http://www.handelskongress.de/Kongress/Programm-2-17.php