November 11, 2010, 12:13 PM

Consumers ring in the holidays with mobile

A third of mobile phone consumers will use the devices to locate stores.

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Nearly 60% of mobile phone consumers say they plan to use their mobile phones for more than just voice calls this holiday season.  59% plan to use other mobile functions to help them with their holiday shopping and celebration planning, a new study finds.

Of those shoppers using mobile for more than calls, one-third say they plan to use mobile to locate stores or get directions, according to the Holiday Shopping with Mobile Phones Survey from the Mobile Marketing Association, an industry trade group.  32% say they will use mobile devices to compare prices and help them stay within budget, and 30% say they will use mobile to find gift ideas. 13% say they plan to buy or pay for gifts using their mobile phones.

“Holiday shoppers are always in a time crunch, and in this economy, they’re in a budget crunch too. Both of these factors have them relying on their mobile phones more than ever as a tool for finding bargains, the right gift and the quickest way to get to a particular merchant,” says Jacqueline Rosales, executive vice president of business development at Luth Research, the market research firm that conducted the online study . The respondent pool for the study included more than 1,000 U.S. adults.  

Across all mobile users, 25% say they plan to shop more using their mobile phone compared with last year. Of those respondents who plan to use their phone to help them this season, more than a third (34%) say they expect to use mobile to some or great extent.

Consumers say they are most likely to use their mobile phones prior to traveling to stores (64%) or while browsing in stores (51%). 28% say they will use mobile devices while waiting in the check-out line, and they may just be checking prices elsewhere or searching for last-minute coupons. 58% of mobile shoppers say finding the lowest price for a holiday gift is important; just 50% of mobile owners who won’t use mobile devices for shopping this season say the same. 13% of holiday mobile users say they expect to use their phones to receive or redeem coupons, according to the survey.

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