In US, 37% of Mobile Phone Users Go Online to Compare Prices While Shopping in a Store

In GfK survey of 23 countries, US ranks in the Top 10 for key mobile shopping behaviors

New York, NY; February 26, 2015: Online shoppers in the US have long had instant access to price comparisons at the moment of purchase – but now “bricks and mortar” shoppers are using their mobile phones to bring this behavior in-store.

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%).  ​

In the US, getting in touch with a trusted person was slightly m​ore common (39%) among mobile phone users than comparing prices (37%). In both cases, the US was one of the 10 countries reporting the highest incidences of these behaviors -- #9 for contacting friends and family, and #8 for checking prices. 

Half of global shoppers ages 20 to 29 compare prices online while inside a store

Globally, men are more likely than women (42% of men versus 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 US, 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 US, at 47% each.

Looking at other countries, shoppers in South Korea, China, and Turkey are the most likely to compare prices in-store on their mobile phones, with 59%, 54% and 53%, respectively, saying they regularly do this.

Contacting friend or family for advice is equally important to men and women

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 percent.

US women are slightly more likely (41% of women versus 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 to 54% of young adults (ages 20 to 29), and 40% of those ages 30 to 39.

  • 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%)
  • Buying products through the store’s or another website (17%)​

*Mobile payment in-store is not reported in this analysis. 

 About the study

For the survey, GfK interviewed more than 25,000 mobile phone users aged 15 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, UK, Ukraine and USA.

 About GfK

GfK is the trusted source of relevant market and consumer information that enables its clients to make smarter decisions. More than 13,000 market research experts combine their passion with GfK’s long-standing data science experience. This allows GfK to deliver vital global insights matched with local market intelligence from more than 100 countries. By using innovative technologies and data sciences, GfK turns big data into smart data, enabling its clients to improve their competitive edge and enrich consumers’ experiences and choices.

For more information, please visit www.gfk.com/en-us/. Follow GfK on Twitter

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