Over 60% of Smartphone & Tablet Owners Plan To Price-Compare Among All Retailers While Holiday Shopping

A recent Prosper Mobile Insights Online Survey by SSI (Survey Sampling International) found that 55.3% of mobile device owners completing a survey via their mobile devices said they plan to use a smartphone or tablet for holiday shopping this year... to research, compare prices, purchase, locate stores, or assist with other shopping tasks. 66.0% said they plan to use their smartphone or tablet to compare prices with other physical stores; and 59.7% said they plan to use their hand-held device to compare prices with online retailers. (Each respondent could answer as many questions as applied to them). Also that 69.1% of them plan to check out electronics as holiday gifts they plan to research. With so much price checking going on, retailers will be well-advised to have their prices "right" using competitive price monitoring and tracking, and be ready to do some of their own competitive pricing in real-time if they want to maximize sales opportunities. 

When the survey asked what they might do using their smartphone or tablet while shopping in a store this holiday season, respondents replied as follows: 

66.0% said they plan to use their smartphone or tablet to compare prices with another physical store; 

59.7% said they plan to compare prices with online retailers;

37.9% to request a price match;

40.3% to check in for a discount;

48.1% to read product reviews to decide between products;

39.9% to scan a QR code to get more information about a product; and

  5.8% none of the above."


When respondents were asked what types of holiday gifts they planned to research using their smartphone or tablet, they responded as follows:

 69.1% - Electronics

50.4% - Clothing or clothing accessories:

45.7% - Books/CDs/DVDs, Blu-Ray/Video Games:

44.9% - Toys

And on down for sporting goods, jewelry, food/candy, gift cards, personal care and beauty products, other gift items, and appliances, with 3.9% saying they did not plan to research any gift items using their mobile device.


Most mobile holiday shoppers said they planned to take advantage of special early-season deals, with 62% saying they were "somewhat likely" or "very likely" to use a tablet or smartphone to purchase products on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Many retailers have geared up for the "mobile madness" with apps and programs, and even beginning services for customers to check out by scanning the mobile device. Pam Goodfellow, Director of Consumer Insights at BIGinsight said, "We've all heard of the concept of showrooming, especially as it pertains to Best Buy and Amazon… 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."


This survey could be skewed in favor of mobile use because: 1) the number of respondents was small (333); and: 2) the respondents were already mobile-device owners, and answered the survey using their mobile devices. A much larger survey of 2,523 adults in late September 2012 for CouponCabin by Harris Interactive, reported that 27 percent of US adults will use their smartphone or tablet for their holiday shopping this year, 83 percent of them citing "convenience" as their main reason for shopping on a mobile device.

Regardless, it appears that pricing is the key -- no matter where the shopper is located or where the purchase is made.  It's the "price comparing" with which retailers had better concern themselves, so they will have the right prices at the right times.  Both online (and storefront) retailers had better use competitive intelligence and pricing and assortment intelligence, to be as competitive and knowledgeable as possible, to be able to respond quickly and wisely, with the real-time 24/7 information that effective price tracking and monitoring solutions provide. 


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Gilon Miller, CMO

About Author

Gilon is a seasoned marketing, sales and business development executive with over 15 years of experience in the software and Internet business. He is the Founder and CEO of GuruShots. Previously, Gilon was the CMO of Upstream Commerce, VP of Marketing at iMDsoft and Director of Global Marketing at SAP. He earned an MBA at the MIT Sloan School of Management and a BS in Electrical Engineering from Tufts University.
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