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Mobile now Integral to retail for promotion, price comparison and purchase, finds IBM 2012 retail survey

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Consumer desire for using mobile devices while shopping more than doubled (138%) within the past year, finds the IBM 2012 Retail survey. The study also found that shoppers now demand a more personalised, convenient and budget-friendly shopping experience with the aid of mobile technology.

The IBM study of consumer purchasing trends and shopping habits of 1,800 UK consumers in the UK found that 39% want to use mobiles to receive personalised promotions, while 42% want to use mobiles to seek out lower prices, and 44% to seek out promotions. 52% want to use mobiles to checkout, and 42% to locate products in-store.

“Shoppers are keen to use their mobiles to scan products, check prices and receive previously scanned product promotions sent direct to their device. Mobile technology is set to change the 4Ps of marketing – product, price, place, promotion – as ‘personalisation’ becomes key.” says Martin Butler, Retail Industry Leader, IBM UK & Ireland.

“Retailers need to invest in delivering a personalised shopping experience across all types of contact methods in order to offer the right kinds of promotions, at the right time via the right delivery method.”

The survey also found that consumers believe social media and online sources should be a fully integrated part of the shopping experience. In the UK, 39% of consumers rely on the websites for comparative shopping. However, participants still value the ‘touch and feel’ aspects of a store, with 83% saying that they prefer to research online prior to browsing for a product during an in-store visit.


n addition, social shopping has become more increasingly popular in the UK, as well as around the world. Consumers seek and accept shopping advice from peers, family, friends and even strangers.

The study found that 82% of UK consumers say that social networks save them time in making a retail purchase. In this era of connectivity and collaboration, consumers know almost everything about every product, every brand and ultimately decide which retailers have earned the consumer’s trust.

In fact, consumers are now, more than ever, willing to share personal information with retailers so that services can be tailored to their individual preferences, location and lifestyle.

For instance, global survey participants cited that they would be willing to share information about their media usage (75%), demographics (73%), identification, like name and address (61%), lifestyle (59%) and location (56%) just to ensure more personalised services.

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