December 31, 2012, 10:58 AM

For most smartphone owners, the device is a personal shopping assistant

76% of smartphone owners use their devices while shopping, research finds.

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76% of smartphoneowners use their phones while shopping, finds a new survey from Perception Research Services International.

53% of smartphone owners use their devices to compare prices, 49% to read customer reviews, 48% to search for product information, 48% to check for sales or coupons, 37% to get product information from a manufacturer’s site, 34% to get a friend or family member’s opinion, 31% to make a purchase, 31% to enter a contest, and 17% to view a product demonstration, the survey says.

Perception Research Services International, which specializes in shopper research to improve packaging and merchandising systems, surveyed 1,450 U.S. adults who are each responsible for at least half of their household’s grocery shopping. 54% own a smartphone.

Smartphone owners use their phones while shopping for a wide variety of products, the survey says. 57% of smartphone owners use their devices while shopping for electronics, 54% apparel, 41% computers and software, 40% groceries, 34% cosmetics, 33% personal care, 30% home furnishings and appliances, 29% office supplies, 28% home décor, 23% pet supplies, 19% fragrances, and 14% baby care products, the survey says.

QR codes are a popular mobile commerce technology with many smartphone owners, the survey finds. 44% of smartphone owners have used a QR code, 32% know what QR codes are but have never used one, 18% have seen them but don’t know what they are, and 6% are completely unfamiliar with QR codes, the survey says.

69% of smartphone owners have scanned a QR code to get product information, 65% to get information on promotions, 42% to read customer reviews, 40% to participate in a loyalty program and get rewards, and 29% to get information on a store location, the survey says.

“Retailers and manufacturers need to adapt to a world in which shoppers are armed with a tremendous amount of information at their fingertips—about the brand to choose, the price to pay and the place to buy,” says Jonathan Asher, executive vice president at Perception Research Services International. “Retailers know they will continue to lose a certain amount of sales to online purchases, and they must accept that some showrooming will occur. The key is to find ways to capitalize on those opportunities in which shoppers are in their store examining products, and make it compelling for them to make purchases there rather than go online—or to some other retailer—to do so.”

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