Commentary

Smartphones Give 69% a Better Shopping Experience

Smartphones are improving the shopping experience and consumers plan to use them even more for it this year.

Those are among the results of new mobile research from IDC, which surveyed consumers following the holiday shopping season.

A majority (69%) of consumers said their smartphone was a critical tool giving them a better shopping experience and most (70%) said they plan to use their smartphone to help their shopping experience this year.

Smartphones are used all throughout the Mobile Shopping Life Cycle. While shopping, 70% of smartphone owners check prices via their phone and 50% check reviews, based on the IDC study.

As we’ve seen from other research, consumers are using both mobile websites and apps while shopping.  While more than half (53%) check for deals on the Web, many (40%) check for latest deals on an app.

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It also appears that showrooming is not dead, with a number of shoppers (19%) buying from competitors while shopping in a retail store during the holiday season.

For the study, IDC combined a survey of consumers with smartphone behavioral data from more than 10,000 smartphone owners. "By combining traditional surveys with newer techniques,  we were able to triangulate and identify the smartphone shopper,” said Allan Fromen, vice president and consulting partner at for IDC's global buyer behavior practice. “The smartphone is the center of our lives.”

Amazon dominated all retail in smartphone shopping, according to IDC, consistent with other research. Amazon had about two times more consumers accessing its app and mobile website than eBay or Best Buy and four times more than The Home Depot.

Perhaps the most significant stat for retailers is that about a third (32%) of smartphone owners purchased more online than in a retail store compared to the previous year.

The smartphone shopper is getting smarter.

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