Retailers’ new fear: Consumers redirected out of store over mobile comparison-shopping

by Giuseppe Taibi on January 2, 2010

“Considering that dedicated shopping applications are still in an early stage, this relatively high penetration number suggests that shopping may quickly become a major component of mobile phone usage,” said Jay Thomas, president of Thomas/Ferrous Inc., Sacramento, CA.

The research done by Thomas/Ferrous and Q&A Research found that consumers are not just using mobile for big-ticket items. Consumers were using online access to routinely compare products that cost as little as $10.

“Marketers and bricks-and-mortar retailers alike need to recognize that increasing numbers of consumers are using mobile technology to bring competitive stores into their environment,” he said.

“It’s presumable that when these consumers are drawn to a particular item on the shelf, they are then turning to their mobile phones prior to purchase to uncover critical information such as more product detail, user reviews, alternative products and, of course, price comparisons,” Mr. Thomas said.

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