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Majority of consumers already using mobile for deals

May 31, 2011

PriceGrabber's mobile shopping site

Almost three-quarters of consumers – 72 percent – are using their mobile phones to receive coupons, product deals and price alerts, according to a new mobile shopping survey from PriceGrabber.

While the numbers begin to dip for other activities, overall the results show that consumers are embracing mobile phones for a variety of mobile shopping related activities. The survey found that 55 percent of consumers use their phones to browse the Web, 34 percent compare prices online while shopping in a store, 33 percent find nearby products and 21 percent scanning bar codes.

“It was eye-opening to see just how many consumers already use their phones to receive coupons, deals and alerts,” said Sharon Banfield, director of public relations at PriceGrabber, Los Angeles. “It’s amazing to see how quickly and how many consumers picked-up on the benefits they could reap from their smartphones in saving money and finding bargains.”

PriceGrabber, which is a division of database marketing giant Experian, questioned 7,987 consumers March 3-25 for the survey.

Shopping also plays a part in the mobile apps that consumers choose to download.

According to the survey, consumers have downloaded an average of 21 apps, including three shopping-related apps.

“We’re seeing a notable increase in consumers downloading shopping apps,” Ms. Banfield said. “Just a couple of years ago, apps were an intriguing and new phenomenon, but now, shopping from a mobile phone is becoming a commonplace activity.”

One step ahead
“Mobile marketers will be smart to position shopping apps not only as the ‘new norm,’ but also as the essential tool for getting the best deal,” she said.

While mobile marketers are already doing a good job of making mobile shopping a part of shoppers’ consciousness, they need to be one step ahead of consumers and make mobile the “go-to” solution for shopping.

One way to accomplish this is to provide the information that consumers are looking for, per Ms. Banfield.

“According to PriceGrabber survey results, consumers are looking for information and the best deal in town,” she said. “Marketers need to emphasize the fact that shopping-related apps will give consumers the fastest information in an easy format, ultimately saving time and money.”

Electronics was a focus of the survey. Consumers were asked how to best describe their shopping habits when it comes to purchasing electronics, with 66 percent saying they like to get as much information as possible about an electronic device before they buy.

In addition, 48 percent said they always shop for best deals in electronics and 25 percent love to buy new gadgets and appliance.

Growing adoption
PriceGrabber points to the growing adoption of smartphones as one of the driving forces behind the trend toward mobile shopping.

According to PriceGrabber, 11 percent of consumers purchased their first Web-enabled phone in 2007, 16 percent did so in 2008, 22 percent made the move in 2009. In 2010, 20 percent of consumers purchased a Web enabled phone.

“Web-enabled phones seem to have infinite capabilities, and consumers are intrigued by them,” Ms. Banfield said.

“With so many choices at once, it seems inevitable that consumers may not be able to use every feature to its full potential,” she said.

“At the same time, consumers have learned the advantages of mobile shopping quickly and in large numbers. With time, they’ll become even more accustomed to the mobile format and hone in on the benefits that most suit their lives.”

Final Take

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