Though few consumers actually make purchases using mobile devices, smartphones are playing an increasingly important role in shoppers' buying decisions, particularly when they are visiting physical stores, according to a new study by ForeSee Results.

During the 2010 holiday season, mobile use among US shoppers skyrocketed, the study found:

  • 11% of shoppers made a purchase using their smartphone, up from the 2% who did so a year earlier.
  • 30% of shoppers used the mobile Web to research products, pricing, and find store locations, up from 11% during the 2009 holiday season.

Some 15% of shoppers used their smartphone to compare products or prices while shopping in a store during the 2010 holiday season, compared with 3% during the 2009 holiday season, ForeSee said.

Below, others findings from the ForeSee Results Report on Mobile Shopping (2010 US Edition).

Mobile Use Among Shopper Likely to Increase More

Shoppers are using mobile phones to access retail information more than ever: 33% of consumers have used their phone to access a retailer website or mobile app (vs. 24% in 2009), and an additional 26% plan to do so in the future.

Shoppers use their smartphones for a variety of shopping-related tasks, citing the following:

  • Comparing price information: 56%
  • Comparing different products: 46%
  • Looking up product specifications: 35%
  • Viewing product reviews: 27%

While in physical stores during the 2010 holiday season, more than two-thirds of shoppers (69%) used their phones to visit the store's own website, and nearly one-half (46%) used their phones to access a competitor's website, up from the 25% who did so a year earlier.

Nearly one in five shoppers (19%) say they accessed a store's mobile app while visiting that store, up from the 4% who did so a year earlier.

Looking for great digital marketing data? MarketingProfs reviewed hundreds of research sources to create our most recent Digital Marketing Factbook (May 2010), a 296-page compilation of data and 254 charts, covering email marketing, social media, search engine marketing, e-commerce, and mobile marketing. Also check out The State of Social Media Marketing, a 240-page original research report from MarketingProfs.

Satisfaction With Mobile High

Good experiences with mobile sites and apps are driving cross-channel impact. Shoppers who are highly satisfied with a mobile experience—those who rate customer satisfaction levels at 80 or higher (out of 100)—say they are 30% more likely to buy from that retailer online and 30% more likely to buy offline, as well as 26% more likely to return to the main website, recommend it (35%), and purchase from the brand next time (33%).

About the study: ForeSee Results surveyed 10,000 visitors to top e-retailer sites (per Internet Retailer's 2010 Top 500 Guide) from Nov. 29 to Dec. 15, 2010. The E-tail Satisfaction Indices are based on methodology of the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI).

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Shoppers Using (and Loving) Mobile for In-store Buying

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