Rick West ScreenshotThe modern-day shopper uses all the tools available to them to research and purchase goods and services. These new “omnichannel” shoppers are a prime example of how the retail world is changing, thus its marketing and business strategies must change with it.

Recently, WhyteSpyder CEO Eric Howerton sat down with Rick West, CEO and Co-Founder of Field Agent, to discuss new trends with the omnichannel shopper. Field Agent is shopper marketing agency that specializes in mobile research.

“We are like a 15-year overnight success story,” West said. “We are really a research arm that created a solution to a problem. As research was coming in 2010, we realized to access today’s shoppers you need to use mobile engagement . . . so, we really got into tech and created this category of mobile research.”

More than 700,000 people in the U.S. have downloaded the Field Agent app. These people give in-store audits, product reviews, and longer-term diaries of product studies.

Roughly a year ago, the company started a report on mobile research and shopper activity. They found that regardless of the product size, price, or purpose, people use their mobile phones to research and purchase nearly everything.

“It is completely integrated into the shopper’s process; it is the new way people go to market,” West said. “We are probably never more than six feet away from our mobile phone, it is your alarm clock, it is in your car, or it is in your hand at all times.”

People use their phone to look for customer reviews, how-to videos, and coupons throughout the shopping process. Walmart, and some other large retailers, are starting to recognize this as an opportunity.

This is an opportunity to increase sales and customer engagement. The information coming from institutions like WhyteSpyder and Field Agent is changing how businesses look at marketing and merchandising.