According to a recent poll from Gallup®, 70% of Americans over age 18 regularly use either a smartphone or a tablet. How are these devices affecting the way consumers shop in brick-and-mortar stores?

For more than half of Americans surveyed in the poll, the answer is, “not very much.” However, 19% reported to shop less at physical stores as a result of mobile technology, while 22% shop in person more often.

Whose shopping habits has mobile technology affected the most? Younger Americans (18- to 29-year-olds) are almost twice as likely as other age groups to say mobile technology has increased (29%) rather than decreased (15%) how often they visit brick-and-mortar stores. While Gallup theorizes this might be because 18-to-29-year-olds are less likely to have credit cards, (thus limiting the ease of online shopping), this doesn’t seem to me like the only reason. After all, you can pay online with debit cards, PayPal and a raft of other options that people 18 to 29 are likely comfortable using.

Younger Americans are far more conversant with mobile technology than older generations, making them more likely to be responsive to mobile marketing messages or outreach on their phones while they’re in-store. They’re also more likely to be influenced by social media, online reviews and other peer networks in making purchases. And finally, they tend to view shopping in brick-and-mortar stores as a fun, social experience.

Read more about these puchasing trends - among others - and what they mean for your retails store’s marketing efforts in our related AT&T Business Circle article.