You know what I’m talking about. A customer is shopping in your brick-and-mortar store. Your sales clerk on the floor moves in to ask if he can help, but the customer waves him away or doesn’t even notice him. Why? Because the consumer is looking up product reviews and pricing on her smartphone.

The Trend of Self-Sufficiency

It’s a new world thanks to mobile devices, and one of the big challenges for companies is that consumers are becoming self-sufficient. In other words, they do not need or want someone trying to help them select a product. At least, they don’t want a live person to help. Apparently, the people posting reviews online are entirely acceptable.

According to one recent report, well over half of consumers who are using their cell phone to research products while shopping in a store said they don’t want to talk with store employees. The trend is much stronger among men than women. It is also at its highest in the 25-to-44 age group.

So how do you sell to these people when they walk into your establishment if they don’t even want your help?

One Brand’s Solution to the Smartphone

The fact is that there is no simple, across-the-board solution for every business. However, consider the group that is the prime self-shopper. We’re talking about men between 25 and 44. They are likely to frequent stores like Lowe’s, Home Depot, True Value, and the like. What are these stores doing to guide consumers?

Lowe’s is focusing on their mobile app to give consumers a place to go while on their phone that will provide similar assistance to what an in-store employee would offer. The sales people are also being trained to use the app to help people.

Obviously, each company will need to take a look at their business model in the upcoming year and see how they can reach mobile-dependent users, especially as this trend becomes stronger and stronger. After all, with more people than ever buying their smartphones online rather in a store, it is clear that consumers desire self-sufficiency.