November 11, 2011, 3:07 PM

62% are willing to buy via mobile this holiday season if prompted by specials

And many mobile consumers would research products, new survey shows.

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Though most mobile phone owners have yet to make a purchase on their devices, most are ready to buy this holiday season if there’s a deal to be had, a new survey finds. 62% of mobile phone owners would be willing to make a purchase with their mobile devices this holiday season if prompted by coupons, discount offers, text alerts, gift cards or loyalty points, up from 32% last year, according to the survey by mobile commerce technology provider Sybase 365, a subsidiary of Sybase Inc., and the Mobile Marketing Association.

“The results from this survey clearly indicate a growing appetite for mobile commerce services,” says John Sims, president of Sybase 365. “While we still have ground to cover in terms of widespread adoption, the momentum we are seeing provides opportunities for merchants who are seeking to increase revenue and customer retention by offering mobile shopping and incentives.”

Many mobile phone owners are likely to conduct other shopping activities this holiday season. According to the survey of 847 mobile phone users, 38% would use a mobile device to find a store location, 34% to compare prices, 28% to research deals and coupons, and 27% to find a product review.

“With more consumers than ever before planning to make the shift towards mobile this holiday season, it’s a clear indication that merchants ignore the mobile commerce wave at their own risk,” says Michael Becker, managing director for North America at the Mobile Marketing Association. “Consumers grasp the value, convenience and flexibility that existing mobile commerce campaigns grant them, and they expect to use their mobile devices more and more. Marketers, brands and retailers that recognize this and work to realize the potential of mobile will have an edge, not only this holiday season, but moving forward.”

The willingness to pay for goods in stores using a mobile phone is far softer than the willingness to buy products on mobile sites or apps, the survey finds. Mobile payments have almost no traction in the U.S. 25% of mobile phone owners say they would be more likely to make a mobile payment if the system was offered by their financial institutions, while 22% would be persuaded by PayPal and 18% by a system from a credit card company.

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