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Survey: More than 1-in-3 consumers price check as they shop


Almost 2-in-5 U.S. consumers who are walking the retail aisles with smartphone in hand are comparing prices, according to a GfK survey.

Getting in touch with a trusted person, however, was slightly more common (39%) among mobile phone users than comparing prices (37%). In both cases, the United States was one of the 10 countries reporting the highest incidences of these behaviors — No. 9 for contacting friends and family, and No. 8 for checking prices. GfK asked mobile phone users in 23 countries what activities they regularly do on their mobile phones while they are inside a store.

The leading behaviors globally are comparing prices and contacting a friend or family member for advice — both cited by 40% of respondents. The third most common behavior was taking pictures of products that respondents might buy (36%). Globally, men are more likely than women (42% of men vs. 37% of women) to use their mobile phones in-store to compare prices on a regular basis.

Among key age groups, young adults (ages 20 to 29) check prices online most frequently, with half (49%) reporting this behavior. In the United States, men and women were evenly split (37% of men, 36%,of women respectively) when it comes to comparing prices in-store; and the youngest shoppers (ages 15 to 19) were by far the most likely to report this behavior, at 55%. The 20-to-29 and 30-to-39 age segments were tied for second in the United States, at 47% each.

Globally, men and women are almost equally likely to use their mobile phones inside a store to contact a friend or family member for advice (40% of women and 39% of men say they regularly do this). Among the age groups, young adults (ages 20 to 29) lead in this particular activity (48%), while teens (ages 15 to 19) follow closely (47%) and those ages 30 to 39 trail at 40%. U.S. women are slightly more likely (41% of women vs. 37% of men) to say they reach out to trusted people in their lives while shopping in stores.

A remarkable 65% of teens reported this activity, compared with 54% of young adults (ages 20 to 29) and 40% of those ages 30 to 39. Other commonly cited in-store activities among U.S. mobile phone users were: Taking pictures of actual products they might buy (34%); Taking pictures of advertisements, descriptions and other information about products (26%); Scanning bar codes or QR codes (24%); Buying products through an “app” on their mobile devices (19%); and Buying products through the store’s or another website (17%).

For the survey, GfK interviewed more than 25,000 mobile phone users ages 15 years or older in 23 countries either online or face-to-face in summer 2014. The countries included are Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Poland, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, the United Kingdom, Ukraine and the United States.

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