Over half of consumers utilized mobile phones for in-store holiday shopping

A study released by Motorola Inc. indicates over half of consumers utilized mobile phones during the holiday shopping season. Fifty-one percent of shoppers across 11 countries scouted for coupons, did comparison shopping, and looked for reviews using phones, making the use of mobile technology a high priority for retailers.

Frank Riso, Senior Director of Retail Solutions at Motorola, states, "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. 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."

The study also found that when in-store workers were equipped with mobile devices, such as two-way radios and handheld computers, shoppers enjoyed a better experience overall. The availability of coupons had a large impact on purchases, as well. According to the study, 39 percent of shoppers were willing to abandon intended purchases if coupons and discounts were not available. Limited stock, lack of competitive discounts, and poor customer service caused the percentage of abandoned purchases to double from 2008.

In what was feared to be a downturn in consumer spending, retailers are on the lookout for trends in customer habits. With the use of mobile phones playing a large role in consumer spending, retailers need to deploy mobile technology to keep up with the needs of shoppers.

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