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Over Half of Consumers Use Mobile Phones for In-Store Shopping Activities

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A recent Motorola study of holiday shoppers identified that more than half (51 percent) of consumers across 11 countries used their mobile phones for in store activities such as comparison shopping and getting peer feedback, product information and coupons, which signals the increasing importance for retailers to adopt mobile shopper technology strategies to remain competitive.

According to the study, the usage and impact of mobile shopping technologies exploded during the 2009 holiday shopping season.

The survey identified that 64 percent of Gen Y (age 18 to 34) shoppers used their mobile phones for in-store shopping-related activities during the holiday season. Retailers, financial service institutions, advertisers and technology vendors are taking advantage of mobile platforms to attract this increasingly technologically savvy generation of shoppers. In addition, all surveyed age-segments cited interest in next-generation retail technologies, demonstrating the growing consumer demand for real-time information to make better informed shopping decisions. In fact, when in-store associates were equipped with mobile technologies, such as two-way radios and handheld mobile computers, surveyed shoppers reported a better experience due to the use of the devices (59 percent and 56 percent respectively).

"With nearly seven in 10 surveyed holiday shoppers either reporting flat or declining budgets, retailers vying for finite shopper dollars need to provide a seamless customer experience," said Frank Riso, senior director of retail solutions, Motorola Enterprise Mobility Solutions. "By utilizing mobile technologies, consumers have become empowered, better informed and more critical shoppers. Retailers need to establish near-term strategies to provide product information, stock availability, discounts and coupons directly to shoppers to help them to remain competitive."

Reflective of the tight economic climate, surveyed shoppers sought more coupons and discounts in 2009 with 39 percent willing to abandon purchases if coupons and discounts were unavailable. Cost-conscious shoppers expected more aid from retailers on pricing and bargains as only half reported satisfaction with the availability of coupons and discounts.

Shoppers in North America left an average of $109 unspent this past holiday season due to stores' limited merchandise, lack of availability of coupons/discounts and inconsistent customer service. Nearly 40 percent of surveyed shoppers abandoned the purchase altogether - a significant increase over 2008 when 20 percent reported not buying the item at all. Interestingly, the majority of abandoned purchases could have been recovered, including 54 percent of abandoned purchases in consumer electronics retailers, 46 percent in clothing stores and 42 percent in auto parts stores, if coupons or discounts were more readily available.

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Tags: motorola