The internet and mobile devices have undoubtedly changed the how consumers learn about new products and inform buying decisions. Mobile devices, in particular, are merging the in-store shopping experience with the digital world through internet connectivity, coupon apps, social networking sites and numerous other ways being cooked-up in entrepreneur tech labs. Here are several valuable stats on how consumers are merging the two, based on recent eMarketer reports:

STAT:  45% of consumers bought grocery or personal care products in-store after researching on the internet.
Takeaway: Consumers are becoming product experts before entering the store. Reviews are becoming more and more critical as consumers use them to influence their buying decision. Set up Google Alerts to see where your brand is mentioned and bookmark those pages to measure the ongoing consumer sentiment.

STAT:  31% of consumers purchased a grocery or personal care product after using their mobile phone.
Takeaway: Mobile phones are becoming resources for real time, in-store research. Users are increasingly accessing information on their mobile device, and consumers are doing so as they make their buying decision. Therefore, optimizing your website for mobile browsers is going to play a significant role in how consumers interact with your brand as they make their purchasing decision.

STAT:  Social networks, SMS and other consumer content producing platforms are giving customers a larger microphone to share their opinions than ever before. 11% of those blogged about the purchase experience, posted a comment about the purchase on a social networking site and 11% posted a review online, respectively.
Takeaway: As more and more consumers become content producers, the brand experience will become more essential. Is customer service a pleasant experience for everyone? If not, how can you it better? These are the types of questions that are becoming increasingly important as consumers use their mobile devices to explain the world around them.

STAT:  39% of those surveyed engaged in social network conversation about potential purchases.
Takeaway: Social networks are becoming a go-to place to learn more about brands from friends. Digital media and social networks are much easier to track than offline conversations. Brands can use data scrapping techniques to listen and learn what consumers in the buying cycle are saying about their brands on social networks, blogs and other digital platforms and potentially intervene with special offers to incentivize consumers to make the purchase.

STAT:  78% of consumers would purchase items off of their shopping lists because it was a special promotion.
Takeaway: Consumers are still deal hunters and digital devices can offer in-store savings.  Brands should look to digital discount services, such as Groupon or mobile apps like Coupon Sherpa, inoDeals, Coupon Clipper and Yowza to promote their brands for frugal shoppers looking for a reason to splurge.

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