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Smartphones changed the way Britain shopped this Christmas

Smartphones changed the way Britain shopped this Christmas
Friday January 13 2012

1 in 3 shoppers used mobile phones to help them buy gifts as 38% used discount coupons or sought out early bargains

The way UK consumers shopped for presents this Christmas was completely different to any previous year, according to the annual survey by international consumer research specialist Intersperience.

With continued worries about the economic situation, people went bargain hunting early, and made more use of discount coupons and smartphones to compare prices in order to get the cheapest deal.

“This is the year that the mobile phone changed the way we shop,” said Intersperience chief executive Paul Hudson. “With people very conscious of their reduced spending power this year, they have chosen the latest technology to help them find the best deals.

“One in three used their phones to check competitor prices, look for reviews of products, search ratings and check specifications. Almost 20% of people called up rivals’ websites while standing in a high street store looking at the item they wanted to buy. And 30% of them went on to purchase those gifts online from somebody else’s website while standing in the shop.”

“Discount coupons were much in evidence and we found people have taken to seeking out bargains at all times of the year, buying presents cheaply off-season and keeping them hidden until December. We are as a nation, in effect, Christmas shopping all-year round now.”

Mobile phones were a major factor in a general pattern of increased online sales. The average amount spent by each internet shopper was up £25 to £188, while the average spent in stores dropped £13 to £166 per customer.

While the amount spent was up, the proportion of the population buying online actually fell from 81% in 2010 to 72%. More than half of internet shoppers, 51%, said they experienced problems with stock shortages or delays in delivery – and almost 1 in 10 said their gifts did not arrive by Christmas Day.