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Shoppers use mobile phones to research items
(17/01/2011 15:16:06)

People with an internet-enabled mobile phone are increasingly using it to influence their shopping decisions.

According to the Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG), many consumers now use their handset to find out further information about the items on shop shelves.

For example, some were said to be comparing prices with those on offer from rival retail outlets.

As a result, IMRG has recommended that retailers ensure they have a strong online presence in order to be visible to this group of shoppers.

Andy Mulcahy, communications executive at the group, said: "Because consumer behaviour has got like that already, retail is just going to have to adapt to it."

He noted that members of the public are very adept at picking up on and embracing new technological innovations.

However, he said retail companies are far less able to keep up with ongoing developments in the world of technology, which means some may miss growing trends among consumers.

Mr Mulcahy was speaking after research by Cisco revealed that shoppers use many modern electronic devices in various ways to determine their purchasing decisions.

For instance, one in four people were found to use technology to shop around for an item deemed to be of the best quality.

In addition, nearly two-thirds said they use the internet to find the cheapest products.

Meanwhile, Cisco also noted that online reviews are proving particularly influential to shoppers.

"There's a real revolution in terms of communication," Mr Mulcahy added.

"It's really empowered the consumer to go out and really have a say in what's going on."

This comes after a study by ForeSee Results found that one in three people in Britain have accessed a retailer's website with their mobile phone.

The organisation said it is confident that more and more consumers will soon turn towards their handset in order to make a transaction online.

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