Consumers will be flocking to stores this holiday season and new research suggests many will be armed with their trusty shopping companion: a smartphone.

73% of shoppers say they use their smartphones while out shopping, according to the “2015 Annual Holiday Shopping Survey,” an online survey of 1,000 U.S. adults completed Nov. 10 by Wanderful Media, a retail mobile technology vendor.

According to the survey, some of the most popular ways to use a smartphone while shopping are to compare prices from other stores or online (42.7%); find deals, coupons and/or promo codes for stores nearby (41%); find store locations (33.4%); browse sales and weekly ads (28.5%); check, add and delete items from a shopping list (23.4%); submit receipts for cash back offers (21.8%); and scan receipts to track purchases (14.4%). Respondents could check more than one item.

40.9% of survey responds say they use shopping apps, and of those consumers, 14.1% use one shopping app for planning a shopping trip or while in store, 36.4% two apps, 26.2% three apps, 8.8% four apps and 14.1% five or more apps. 33.4% of shoppers plan to use coupons from shopping apps during their holiday shopping.

19.7% or respondents say they receive smartphone alerts from apps about the latest holiday sales information, and 45.2% would consider signing up to receive them. 35.1% would not sign up to receive alerts.

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Retail giant Amazon Inc. is aiming to entice shoppers to sign up for alerts from its app with a new feature for the holiday season called Watch A Deal that lets holiday shoppers pick a deal in the app before it’s live and receive a smartphone alert when the deal is available. Amazon also has 150 offers available only in its app in an “App Only Deals” tab. New deals will be released daily between 3 p.m.-11 p.m. PT starting Thanksgiving through Dec. 9. Also, Prime members in 20 metro areas, can use the Prime Now mobile app to receive free two-hour delivery on select Deals of the Day throughout the holiday season.

The Wanderful survey suggests Amazon’s approach to offer special deals via smartphone apps will resonate with consumers. 16.5% of shoppers in the study say they use their smartphone the most for researching or finding out about holiday sales. 8.7% say tablets are their primary device, for researching and finding out about holidays sales and 70.5% say desktops and laptops are the most popular device for researching and finding out about holidays sales. 3.6% don’t use a computer, smartphone or tablet to research or find out about sales and 0.7% responded “other.”

Another study looks at planned smartphone shopping behavior on Black Friday specifically. 75% of shoppers who plan to shop in stores on Black Friday plan to use either a smartphone or tablet to assist them, such as by finding a store location, comparing prices and looking up coupons, according to the Retale online study “Is Thanksgiving The New Black Friday?” which surveyed 1,000 U.S. adults between Nov. 2-6. Retale is a mobile shopping app.

Consumers say the most common ways they will use mobile devices to shop on Black Friday are: comparing prices (64%); finding deals (63%); accessing coupons (60%); researching products online (51%); making shopping lists (45%); buying directly from devices (41%); finding store locations (33%); and getting or sharing live updates through social networks (23%). Survey respondents could pick more than one choice.

Sign up for a free subscription to Mobile Strategies 360, a newsletter reporting on how businesses in all industries use mobile technologies to communicate with and market and sell to their consumers. Mobile Strategies 360 is published by Vertical Web Media LLC, which also publishes Internet Retailer, a business publication on e-retailing.

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