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67pc of mobile shoppers check back-to-school prices online: report

Mobile is playing a big role in back-to-school shopping this year, particularly around consumers checking prices online before making an in-store purchase, according to a new study from Pricegrabber.

Pricegrabber’s 2013 back-to-school report points to an increase in consumers relying on their mobile devices to help in the shopping experience. Forty-six percent of all consumers surveyed said that they planned to use their mobile device for back-to-school shopping this year.

“The No. 1 takeaway from Pricegrabber’s back-to-school survey is that retailers must participate or have some sort of mobile channel, because consumers are demanding it,” said Sharon Banfield, director of public relations at Pricegrabber, Los Angeles.

“If they don’t have a mobile retail component they will miss out on opportunities,” she said. “The inclusion of having a mobile component is a necessity.”

Shop on mobile
The Pricegrabber study took place from June 16 – Aug. 5 and includes responses from 1,937 online shoppers in the United States.

Forty-seven percent of mobile shoppers plan to read retailer emails while in-store, meaning that retailers should use email to drive online and foot traffic.

Another 47 percent of shoppers plan to have coupons sent to them via text message, and 42 percent plan to checkout via their mobile phones.

Seventy-one percent of consumers said that they will buy things from their home via their mobile devices or tablets. Twenty-eight percent planned to shop from work via their mobile device, and 22 percent said that they would shop as a passenger in a car.

Thirty percent of mobile shoppers will use either mobile apps or bar code scanners, and 29 percent of consumers will check a product’s inventory online before going into a store. Specifically, 30 percent of consumers surveyed said that they planned to use a price comparison mobile app, and 24 percent intend to use a shopping app.

Price is more of an issue for consumers this year. Fifty-seven percent of consumers said that they will buy more items that are on sale this year versus 42 percent of shoppers that will comparison shop for the best price.

Sixteen percent of back-to-school shoppers plan to use more store credit cards that offer reward points, pointing to the opportunities for retailers to integrate mobile into loyalty programs.

Another interesting finding from the report is that consumers are taking to digital media first to find out about seasonal deals and promotions. Almost 80 percent of respondents in the study said that they found information about offers from retailers’ emails, Web sites and blogs.

Additionally, 39 percent of consumers said that they will shop online more this year than in the past. Similarly, 26 percent of shoppers plan to use more coupons this year.

“This year, consumers are using their mobile devices much more frequently,” Ms. Banfield said.

“Consumers are even using their mobile devices while in brick and mortar stores while showrooming continues to grow in popularity and usage,” she said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York