Four in Ten Smartphone Users Check Competitive Prices from Store Aisles

— November 08, 2010

A new study confirms that more than four in ten smartphone owners use the devices to check competitive prices while in retail stores. But these shoppers are also using smartphones for a number of other retail-related activities: 35% have received and/or redeemed a coupon they received via text message, according to "Going Mobile," a study by IHL Group and RetailConnections being published today. The research and consulting firm surveyed 570 consumers, 66 retailers and 35 vendors to collect data for the study.

Retailers are already responding to the surge in smartphone usage: 54% of those surveyed said that within 12 months, they will have the ability to not only deliver coupons electronically to customers' mobile phone, but will be able to scan the coupon into the POS directly from the mobile phone's screen.

The survey also showed the fast-growing popularity of the Apple iPhone and Android devices: within the next 12 months, both devices could nearly double their U.S. shipment share. This dramatic growth is being fueled in large part by the buying plans of current smartphone users: 56% are seriously considering an iPhone, and 44% an Android, for their next smartphone purchase.

Smart device usage is also on the rise within retail organizations. While only 19% of retailers today support their management reports on an iPhone, that number is expected to more than triple, reaching 60% within the next 12 months. iPad adoption is also set to soar, from less than 5% to 47% within one year, and Android adoption is slated to climb from 14% to 33%.

"The iPad was issued in the age of tablets, and retailers are going to adopt these quickly," said Greg Buzek, president of IHL Group. "Retailers have longed for moderately priced handheld devices for their sales associates and store managers to enhance the consumer experience. With the advent of the iPad, we have seen the price drop from $1,500 per device to under $500 in volume. Some retailers are looking for these tablets to eliminate POS locations in their stores altogether."

A summary of the study results is available at www.ihlservices.com.

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