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According to a new study by the International Data Corporation (IDC), smartphones may actually be making their owners smarter, when it comes to shopping

Because smartphones keep people constantly connected to the internet, smartphone owners have the entire world wide web at their fingertips every time they are making a purchasing decision. Here’s a look at some of the most interesting points from IDC’s study and what it means for retailers.

Smartphones as shopping tools

Phones are no longer just something we go to when we need to make a phone call. Today we use our phones for just about everything, including shopping. We depend on them so much in fact that even thought of being without it for an hour or two induces panic.

According to the IDC, 80% of smartphone owners say their phone is in reach for virtually the entire day (and night).

Furthermore, 69% say their smartphones assist them in having a better shopping experience and 70% plan on using their smartphone more often when shopping in the coming year.

Informed and social

The real power of a smartphone when it comes to shopping is that it keeps people connected. The smartphone shopper is informed. 70% of smartphone owners use their phones to check competitor’s prices when shopping. 53% look for online deals, 50% read customer reviews and 40% turn to mobile apps to search for deals. In addition to being more informed, smartphone shoppers are social. In other words, they have their entire social network they can poll for an opinion. 58% of smartphone owners report using their phones to call or message a friend about a product while shopping. 33% used their phone to check in via a social media site and 14% polled their social network for advice.

Retailers losing customers

One of the most interesting finds in IDC’s study is that 20% of smartphone owners reported making a purchase from a competitor while in a store. In other words, retailers are losing sales due to online purchases carried out in their stores. This poses a challenge to retailers who will need to find a way to somehow keep customers from looking elsewhere for deals.

Amazon dominating the mobile market

When it comes to making online purchases via smartphone, Amazon is the number one choice. It’s no surprise considering Amazon’s reputation for low prices and perhaps more importantly, the sheer number of their products. Another reason Amazon is dominating the mobile market is customer reviews which shoppers report is a huge factor when making a purchase.

Personalized offers the key

In order for retailers to compete in the mobile age, they need to focus more and sending personalized offers to customers. 47% of smartphone owners say that receiving personalized offers is important to them. If retailers want to win over smartphone shoppers, they’re going to have to send the right message to the right person at the right time before they go online to look elsewhere.

Source:  Mobile Marketing Watch

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