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Smartphones Hit the Holidays

Users open up to purchases in wider variety of categories

More than half of US smartphone and tablet users plan to use their devices for holiday shopping, research indicates, and they are willing to actually buy more items via mobile this holiday season than ever before.

According to October research from Prosper Mobile Insights, 55.3% of all US tablet and smartphone users planned to shop with their devices this holiday season, including browsing, researching, making lists and making actual purchases. About half of that group will use their smartphones and tablets during the planning and research phases, while 42.6% will use the devices for actually shopping, in or out of stores.

Separate research from mobile ad firm Mojiva, released in November, found that smartphone owners found price comparison information the most helpful for holiday shopping on their phone, at 67%, followed closely by information about sales and coupons (64%). A comparatively low 30% said their phone would be most helpful for actually buying products.

But Mojiva did find smartphone owners were more open to making a wide variety of actual purchases using their phones. The most common purchase category considered was electronics, at 60%—up 9 percentage points over 2011. Likelihood of buying in every category except charitable donations increased year over year.

Mojiva also found that 31% of smartphone users said they had purchased a product after seeing a mobile ad, but other post-impression activities were much more common, including browsing a website (62%), downloading or redeeming a coupon (37%) or simply requesting more information (36%). Women were 6 percentage points more likely than men to say they had purchased a product after seeing a mobile ad, the September 2012 survey found.

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Check out today’s other articles, “Originality Is Content Marketers' Greatest Challenge” and “Online Travel Sales Explode in Latin America.”

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