December 28, 2011, 3:39 PM

Consumers and retail employees want to use smartphones inside stores

43% of shoppers would use a mobile app to find items more efficiently in aisles.

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Nearly 11% of consumers have used their smartphones inside stores to help them decide not to purchase items, according to new research from Motorola Solutions Inc. The tendency to use the mobile devices to find prices, product reviews and item availability—and then use that information to decide against a specific purchase—is highest, 16.3%, among consumers who range in age from about their mid-20s to mid-30s, the telecommunications firm says in its “2011 Holiday Shopping Survey.”

The report sheds light on how mobile devices are used, and could be used, inside stores. Motorola based its findings on a survey of 1,231 North American consumers and 393 North American in-store retail clerks and managers that was conducted between Nov. 26 and Dec. 13.

The report suggests that significant numbers of consumers, even when shopping inside stores, want to use mobile devices and the Internet more often to guide their purchasing decisions. For instance, 43% of the consumers surveyed said they would likely use mobile apps that create maps from shopping lists, helping those consumers find the products they want in the store where they are. Consumers also want other technological help when shopping. “Almost four in ten shoppers would be likely to use a retailer’s wireless Internet access to search for product information and post to the web while shopping,” the report says.

Retail employees also want to use mobile technology. 71% of the retail respondents said they would use store-provided mobile devices to check inventory for shoppers, while nearly 67% would do price checks, with 34% going onto the Internet to access product information. “The majority of retail associates feel they would benefit from a widely deployed mobile device with inventory and price-checking applications,” the report says.

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