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Holiday shoppers take to stores armed with smartphone personal assistants

Toys

November 27, 2009: Shoppers look through the aisles during a Black Friday sales event at a Toys R Us store in Falls Church, Virginia.Reuters

When shoppers head to the mall this holiday season, many will arm themselves with their own personal assistant, new research shows.

A study by Prosper Mobile Insights found that the majority of mobile device users plan to use a smartphone or tablet to help with this year's Christmas shopping by researching items, purchasing gifts and locating stores, among other ways.

Specifically, the research shows that when inside a brick-and-mortar store, 66 percent of shoppers will use their mobile device to compare prices with another physical store, while 60 percent will use them to check the prices of online retailers. In addition, nearly 50 percent will use a smartphone or tablet to read reviews to help decide between products.

'Comparing prices and products between retailers is just another of those smart shopping strategies that consumers have adopted to keep their spending in check.'

- Pam Goodfellow, consumer insights director at BIGinsight

"Comparing prices and products between retailers is just another of those smart shopping strategies that consumers have adopted to keep their spending in check," said Pam Goodfellow, consumer insights director at BIGinsight. "It'll be up to retailers this holiday season to provide shoppers with value propositions they can’t resist – turning the showroom into a selling floor."

"Checking in" at brick-and-mortar stores for a discount, scanning QR codes and requesting a price match are among the other ways consumers will use their mobile devices while shopping this year.

The study found that the top gifts shoppers will buy using their mobile devices this year include electronics, books, CDs, DVDs, video games, clothes and toys. In addition, nearly one in  four shoppers plan to use their smartphone or tablet to buy a gift card.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday loom large for mobile shoppers. The survey shows that more than 60 percent are likely to purchase products using a smartphone or tablet on each of the major shopping days.

The research was based on surveys of more than 300 smartphone and tablet users.

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