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New Consumer Mindset Driving Smartphone Products and Services Purchases

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The smartphone is rapidly evolving beyond a simple communications device into an extension of consumers' daily activities and creating a new breed of digital shopper, according to new research from GfK Business & Technology. GfK's research into the new consumer mindset shows that expectations for the next generation of mobile applications will continue to drive users' purchases and dramatically influence how retailers respond to the needs of their customers.

These new consumers are known as the "Digital Drivers," those who have digital content and tools woven into the fabric of their lives. The Digital Drivers are not only consuming, creating and sharing digital content, but also using new technologies to streamline and simplify their daily activities.

"For the Digital Drivers, it's not just about what the technology can do, but what it can do for them," said David Krajicek, managing director of GfK Business & Technology. "Companies need to understand that their consumers increasingly expect a personal and customizable experience through both online and mobile platforms."

Amidst a landscape where overall handset sales are declining, sales of smartphones have steadily increased as more consumers gravitate towards mobile applications. The survey of 1,000 adults found that the value of the smartphone and selection of mobile applications were greater priorities to consumers than reliable coverage and customer service.

"Our research shows that we are at a mobile application tipping point, where the applications are driving customer purchases of the technology more so than the smartphones themselves," said Krajicek. "Smartphone users are increasingly willing to pay for applications, but those applications need to seamlessly integrate with their lives and streamline the tasks they're currently using other technologies to accomplish."

The new consumer mindset will influence both the in-store and mobile shopping experience and require brands to tailor their applications by understanding how customers will use the technology to shop. GfK's research has found that, for smartphone users, finding the best value for their purchases along with greater convenience for completing transactions will shape how, where and when they shop.

"The entire shopping landscape and experience has undergone a sea of change for retailers and their customers," said Krajicek. "Brands have unprecedented access to their customers' behaviors, and they need to go beyond just meeting their customers' expectations to drive a deeper level of interaction and loyalty."

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Tags: smartphone  coverage