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Mobile shopping technologies explode during holidays 2009: Motorola

A Motorola Inc. Enterprise Mobility Solutions research study found that more than 50 percent of consumers across 11 countries used their mobile devices for in-store holiday shopping activities.

Mobile shopping technologies hit a new high in popularity this holiday season. Retailers, financial service institutions and advertisers took advantage of mobile platforms to attract a large number of tech-savvy consumers.

“The usage and impact of mobile shopping technologies exploded in 2009 as shoppers turned to their mobile phones for activities spanning multichannel comparison shopping, peer feedback, product info and couponing,” said Scott Drobner, director of market Insights at Motorola Enterprise Mobility Solutions, New York.

Motorola’s Enterprise Mobility Solutions division connects consumers to information when and where they need it in order to improve customer satisfaction and transform the shopping experience.

Mobile explosion
Fifty-one percent of more than 4,530 shoppers from the United States, Canada, Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Mexico, Brazil, India and China used their mobile devices during the holiday season.

The consumers, ages 18 -65, completed the survey from Nov. 25 to Dec. 20.

Sixty-four percent of consumers between 18-34 used their mobile devices for shopping activities during the holiday season, whereas 33 percent of those over 34 did.

The study also found that when retail associates were equipped with mobile in-store technologies such as two-way radios and handheld mobile computers, surveyed consumers reported a better customer experience due to the impact of these devices.

Consumers want savings
Availability of discounts and coupons produced the lowest satisfaction levels with only half of respondents satisfied.
Mr. Drobner said nearly seven in 10 holiday shoppers surveyed reported flat or a declined budget in 2009, so retailers vying for finite shopper dollars need to provide a seamless customer experience. 

“By utilizing mobile technologies, consumers have become empowered, better informed and more critical shoppers,” Mr. Drobner said. “Retailers need to establish near-term strategies to provide product information, stock availability, discounts and coupons directly to shoppers to help them to remain competitive.”
The study found 78 percent of respondents from Asian countries such as China and India reported using their mobile phone for several in-store shopping related activities, compared to 45 percent of North American consumers.

Mr. Drobner said Motorola views this as a great proxy for future adoption in the North American market over the next few years.

Thirty-three percent of respondents said they felt comparison shopping via mobile devices would improve their in-store experience and 31 percent said loyalty account access via handsets would be an improvement.

“We see these powerful mobile technologies in the consumer world raising the expectations expected from technologies utilized by retail associates and managers,” Mr. Drobner said.

“Forward-thinking retailers are taking advantage of mobile platforms to attract this increasingly technologically savvy generation of shoppers,” he said.