Consumers today shop very differently than they did 10 years ago. With faster phones and tablets, shoppers are more empowered than ever — armed with product information before they even walk into a store. This means retailers are under more pressure than ever to keep up.

I spoke with Uzma Rauf, senior director of consumer and customer insights at Samsung Electronics America, about what is driving retail consumers’ behavior on their phones.

“Consumers are so much more empowered with information. People want to know that they’re able to see, touch and feel, but also ask questions that they could not address online via a sales rep,” said Rauf.

While consumers are empowered by information found online, the expertise offered by a sales rep can often be a turning point towards a sale.

“Even when in store, a lot of people walk around with their cell phones,” added Rauf. “More than 60 percent are actually using their phones to get answers themselves.”

So why wouldn’t retailers want their associates to be armed with the same access to information, ready to meet the customer where they are?

“Arming [associates] with the right tools and the right information at the right time to answer the questions is going to be critical.” In other words, the new dynamics created by connected consumers will require new tech-focused solutions to meet them where they are.

More and more retailers are leveraging mobile technology to empower in-store associates and meet consumers on their level.