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More than one-half (55.3%) of mobile device owners plan to use a smartphone or tablet for holiday shopping this year, to research products, make purchases, find brick-and-mortar stores, or assist with other shopping tasks, according to a new survey from Prosper Mobile Insights.

Among those 55.3% of "mobile holiday shoppers":

  • 61.9% say they plan to use their device primarily as a "mobile mall," purchasing products and comparing prices.
  • 49.6% say they are most likely to use their device during the planning and research stages of holiday shopping.
  • 42.6% say they are most likely to use their device while shopping in stores or online.

Below, additional findings from the study by Prosper Mobile Insights, based on a poll of 333 smartphone and tablet users in October 2012.

Most mobile holiday shoppers plan to use their devices to compare prices between brick-and-mortar stores (66.0%) or online retailers (59.7%), while nearly one-half (48.1%) plan to tap into product reviews and rating to compare products:

As the holiday shopping season approaches, mobile holiday shoppers will likely focus on a few key product categories, and they cite the following as those they're most likely to research via mobile device:

  • Electronics: 69.1%
  • Clothing or clothing accessories: 50.4%
  • Books/CDs/DVDs, Blu-Ray/video games: 45.7%
  • Toys: 44.9%

Moreover, two in five mobile holiday shoppers (41.2%) say they're likely to buy electronics goods via mobile; 39.0% plan to buy books, CDs, or DVDs; 36.7% plan to buy apparel; and 35.7% plan to buy toys via mobile.

Most mobile holiday shoppers plan to take advantage of deals promoted early in the season: 62% say they are somewhat or very likely to purchase products using a smartphone or tablet on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

"We've all heard of the concept of showrooming, especially as it pertains to Best Buy and Amazon," said Pam Goodfellow, director of Consumer Insights at BIGinsight.

"But comparing prices and products between retailers is just another of those smart shopping strategies that consumers have adopted to keep their spending in check. It'll be up to retailers this holiday season to provide shoppers with value propositions they can't resist—turning the showroom into a selling floor."

About the data: This Prosper Mobile Insights Survey is based on an online poll of 333 smartphone and tablet users from the SSI Panel who completed the survey via their devices, October 24-29, 2012.

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