Report: 50 Percent of Beer Buyers Use Smartphones While Shopping In-Store

Modern customers remain connected to the internet, even while out on beer runs.

Advertising and marketing agency XenoPsi recently released a new nationwide consumer report entitled “At-Shelf Decision Making in the Beer Industry: The Effect of Mobile Devices.” The study, which sampled 1,000 consumers last January, found that 49 percent of respondents had used their smartphones while shopping in-store.

Eighteen percent of those using their smartphones during the shopping process reported buying more beer than usual, while 62 percent said they bought a beer they had never purchased before.


The research uncovered that those who use their smartphones while shopping for beer are freer spending and more open-minded than non-smartphone shoppers. For example, 91 percent said they are open to trying “any new kind of beer,” while only 75 percent of non-smartphone shoppers said the same.

Other findings include:

  • 89 percent of smartphone users said they “like to try new brands of beer,” while only 70 percent of non-smartphone users agreed.
  • 69 percent of non-smartphone shoppers said they “tend to stick with my favorite brands of beer,” something only 53 percent of smartphone shoppers reported.
  • Smartphone users were also ten times more likely to purchase a never-tried-before beer brand every time they went to the shelf.

“Beer buyers have come to rely on their smartphones as a critical source of information during the in-store purchase process,” says MichaelAaron Flicker, founder and president of XenoPsi, in a press release. “When they tap into the wealth of information available to them – through search, apps or their social networks – they are making a more informed purchase decision, which is leading them to new trial and greater overall purchases.

“Our research has uncovered the many ways beer marketers need to become a part of this new at-shelf behavior and how to ultimately deliver the brands’ message at this important point in the buying cycle,” Flicker adds.

Conventional wisdom in the industry has always been that the most influential factors when trying new alcoholic beverages include suggestions from friends or family members, the product’s price and retailer recommendations. However, XenoPsi found that “read about it online,” previously a low-ranking factor, has doubled in significance into the top five and has surpassed “recommendations from store staff” in importance.

This study delved much further into buying behaviors at shelf, for example the types of sites and apps beer shoppers use to help with their purchase decisions:

  • Search engines were the most common, cited by 71 percent of respondents.
  • General beer apps, featuring reviews and information and details on different brands and styles of beer, were cited by 31 percent of respondents, the second most common source.
  • Social media apps were tied with general beer apps at 31 percent as the second most common source.

When specifically looking at what information consumers at-shelf were searching for, information about a beer they had not tried was the number one (55 percent). After that, searching about a specific style of beer (48 percent) and a specific flavor of beer (48 percent) tied with finding something similar to a beer they have tried in the past (45 percent) was the fourth type of information they searched for.

The research also found that beer purchasers who used their smartphones spend almost twice as long at the shelf compared to those who do not use their smartphones during the purchase process.

In some cases, these people are simply focused on the shopping process, turning to their mobile devices to find coupons or other incentives, while others are seeking information of specific brands or styles to help with the selection process.

The full report is available for download here.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here