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Smartphone retail to surge in 2014: IDC

One third of users report more purchases online than in brick-and-mortar outlets

Smartphone retail to surge in 2014: IDC
The smartphone is enabling shoppers to be more informed and more confident in their shopping decisions.

Seventy per cent of smartphone users plan to use their device for online shopping in the coming year, according to new research from International Data Corporation (IDC).

In an IDC survey, 69% of respondents agreed with the statement, "My smartphone is a critical tool that allows me to have a better shopping experience," compared to only 12% who disagree. Additionally, 70% agree with the statement, "I plan to use my smartphone more to help my shopping experience in the coming year" compared to only 11% of respondents who disagree.

Moreover, the smartphone is enabling shoppers to be more informed and more confident in their shopping decisions, as many consumers reach out to their trusted social networks while shopping. Seven in 10 respondents said they check prices using their smartphones, and five in 10 said they check reviews from their smartphones.

The research showed that the Smart (Phone) Shopper may prove challenging to brick-and-mortar retailers. One in five survey respondents bought from a competitor while they were shopping in a retail store this holiday season. One in three respondents indicated they purchased much more online versus in a retail store this year compared to last year.

In addition to the survey, IDC analysed the app and mobile Web activity of over 10,000 smartphone users during the holiday shopping season. Among retailers, Amazon dominated, with far more consumers accessing its app, mobile website, or both, than any other retailer. Brick-and-mortar retailers significantly lag behind Amazon when analysing smartphone users' propensity to use a brand's app rather than visit the mobile website.

"Given Amazon's breadth of products, its reputation for low prices, robust product reviews, and personalised recommendations, it makes sense that Amazon is the leader among smartphone users," noted Danielle Levitas, group vice president and general manager, Mobility, Digital Media and Consumer, IDC.

"The smartphone is at the centre of our lives, with most of us unable to be without it for even a couple of hours," said Allan Fromen, vice president and consulting partner, Global Buyer Behaviour Practice, IDC.

"By combining the insights from both the survey and mobile behavioural data, it is clear that, for a significant number of us, the smartphone is now also a critical shopping tool, our own personal concierge to help us shop intelligently."

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