Avoid using your phone when shopping in stores

A 2019 study found that using your phone while shopping in stores tends to be associated with an increase in purchasing things that weren’t on your list.

Using both field and experimental data, we demonstrate that shopping-unrelated mobile phone use negatively affects consumers’ ability to accurately carry out in-store shopping plans and is associated with an increase in unplanned purchasing. Furthermore, we find that consumers who are highly dependent upon mobile phones tend to be the most at risk of deviating from a shopping plan while engaging in shopping-unrelated mobile phone use.

Michael R. Sciandra, J. Jeffrey Inman, and Andrew T. Stephen. (2019) Smart phones, bad calls? The influence of consumer mobile phone use, distraction, and phone dependence on adherence to shopping plans. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science

The study used a simulated shopping experience, so this isn’t a real-world experiment. But hey, nobody likes those people standing in the middle of the aisle texting anyway.

The only time you really need your phone at the store is to check your list.

Note: I want to read more than just the abstract but I’m not paying $40 for this article. I’ll update when I get a free copy from the authors.