November 6, 2012, 12:38 PM

Smartphones and tablets play their part in holiday shopping

61.9% of mobile holiday shoppers plan to compare prices or buy, Prosper finds.

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55.3% of mobile device owners plan to use their smartphones or tablets for holiday shopping this year to research or purchase products, locate stores, or assist with other shopping tasks, according to a new survey from analytics and research firm Prosper Mobile Insights.

Most of these mobile holiday shoppers (61.9%) say they will use their devices primarily to compare prices and make mobile commerce purchases. The other 38.1% will use devices for organization—keeping gift lists and planning shopping trips.

Mobile holiday shoppers plan on doing some showrooming, the survey finds: 59.7% will examine products in a store and use their mobile devices to compare prices with an online retailer. 66.0% plan to do the same but to compare prices with another store retailer. And as a result of mobile research, 37.9% plan to request a price match.

48.1% of mobile holiday shoppers plan to read product reviews to make an informed decision between products, the survey says. 40.3% plan to check in via an app at a retail store to obtain a discount. 39.9% will scan a QR code to get more information about a product.

“Comparing prices and products between retailers is just another of those smart shopping strategies that consumers have adopted to keep their spending in check,” says Pam Goodfellow, consumer insights director at BIGinsight, a research unit of Prosper Mobile Insights. “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.”

When it comes to what types of products consumers will be researching and buying on their mobile devices, electronics tops both lists. 69.1% of mobile holiday shoppers plan to research electronics via their mobile devices, 50.4% apparel and accessories, 45.7% books/music/video/games, 44.9% toys, and 29.7% sporting goods. 41.2% plan to purchase electronics via their mobile devices, 39.0% books/music/video/games, 36.7% apparel and accessories, 35.7% toys, and 24.9% gift cards.

The survey also finds that 62% of mobile holiday shoppers say they are somewhat or very likely to purchase products using a smartphone or tablet on Black Friday (the busy shopping day after Thanksgiving) and Cyber Monday (the following Monday, one of the busiest online shopping days of the year).

Survey Sampling International conducted the survey of 333 smartphone and/or tablet users for Prosper Mobile Insights.

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