There are 73.3 million US smartphone users in 2011, eMarketer estimates, and many are turning to their phones to help them shop. A study conducted in January by Chadwick Martin Bailey and iModerate Research Technologies revealed that more than half of 1,400 consumers polled reported using their smartphones to assist them with shopping. The research found that more than 70% of iPhone owners report using applications or their smartphone’s web browser to help them while shopping in-store, and 41% are making purchases directly from their phones.
According to the study released in March, 66% of respondents used their smartphones to conduct price comparisons on a product or service and 58% used them to find the closest store locations. While 41% of those polled said they had made purchases from their smartphones, just 17% said that making a purchase was their reason for using a smartphone.
This data is in line with comScore findings, also from January, which identified the top three mobile shopping activities for US smartphone users: finding nearby stores (49%), comparing prices prior to shopping (46%) and researching product details (44%).
Research from Accenture on retail shopping apps found that consumers considered those that offer money-off coupons (42%) and the ability to view current in-store specials (36%) most useful. But somewhat in line with Chadwick Martin Bailey and comScore, driving directions to the store (33%) was the third most useful function according to those polled.
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