The Pew Internet and American Life Project shed light on one of the biggest challenges for retailers: more than half of U.S. adult cell phone owners used their mobile phone during the recent holiday season to get in-store help for their purchases. The figure highlights the rise of what Om called the “smart buyer” who wields their phone to ensure they get the best price and most information when buying in store.
In a new study of 1,000 adults conducted earlier this month, Pew found that 38 percent of mobile users called a friend while in store for buying advice while 24 percent of cell phone users used their phone to obtain product reviews on line. And 25 percent of adult cell phone users looked up prices online for products in store in attempt to find the best deal online and in other stores. Altogether, 52 percent of all adult cell owners relied on their phone for one of these purposes and 33 percent specifically turned to their phone for online information while shopping inside a store.