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Over 50% of Holiday shoppers used their Smartphone for Comparison Shopping

Latest research by Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project has found that 52 per cent of mobile phone-owning adults in the US used a mobile device to help them shop for products in stores during the 30-day period before and after Christmas in 2011.

The study, highlights the growing trend of consumers using mobile phones in stores for purchasing decisions.

Pew reported the following in its survey :

• 38% of cell owners used their phone to call a friend while they were in a store for advice about a purchase they were considering making

• 24% of cell owners used their phone to look up reviews of a product online while they were in a store

• 25% of adult cell owners used their phones to look up the price of a product online while they were in a store, to see if they could get a better price somewhere else

Taken together, just over half (52%) of all adult cell owners used their phone for at least one of these three reasons over the holiday shopping season and one third (33%) used their phone specifically for online information while inside a physical store—either product reviews or pricing information.

Pew further reports about the demographic patterns of the respondents in the survey:

• Cell owners ages 18-49 are significantly more likely to use their phones for online product reviews than are cell owners ages 50 and older. Cell owners ages 65 and older are especially unlikely to do this—just 4% did so this holiday season.

• Urban and suburban cell owners are roughly twice as likely as rural cell owners to have recently used their phone to look up online reviews of a product they found in a physical store.

• Non-white cell owners are more likely than white cell owners to look up online product reviews, and those who have attended college are more likely to do so than those who have not.

The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project is an initiative of the Pew Research Center, a nonprofit “fact tank” that provides information on the issues, attitudes, and trends shaping the USA and the world.

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