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Mobile, Digital Media Influence Online and In-Store Buying

February 16, 2012

Consumers use various digital devices—smartphones, tablets, and desktop computers—at many points along the purchase path, from researching product information and pricing to finding retail outlets or completing transactions electronically, according to a survey conducted by Ipsos for Google, which explores consumers' shopping behaviors during the 2011 holiday season.

Overall, digital content was a huge influencer in 2011: 76% of surveyed online adult shoppers said they conducted research online prior to making holiday purchases, whereas 36% read store circulars or flyers, 34% saw in-store displays, 34% received recommendations from friends, and 29% watched TV ads.

Below, additional findings from Google's 2011 Post-Holiday Recap, based on two surveys of US adults conducted by Ipsos.

Influence of Smartphones

Among consumers who used a smartphone to help with shopping during the 2011 holiday season:

  • 46% said they researched an item via smartphone and then went to a store to make their purchase. 
  • 41% said they made a purchase using their smartphone.  
  • 37% said they researched an item via smartphone and then made their purchase online.

Roughly one in five smartphone owners researched holiday purchases via smartphone, then visited stores, but still completed their transactions online (19%) or via smartphone (18%). 

Checking for Deals (via PC) Before Heading Out

Though consumers used all three devices—mobile phone, tablet, and personal computer—to research purchases during the 2011 holiday season, some activities were more popular on specific devices.

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