Deals, rewards increase mobile device use: survey

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Shoppers want perks if they're going to use their mobile phones to make purchases, according to a survey from mobile information services company Sybase 365.

Nearly one-third of shoppers say they would use their phones to buy more goods and services online if they were offered incentives, according to the study. The company found 22% already use their phones to research products and compare prices online; 17% use them for banking; and 14% have accepted mobile coupons or deal alerts.

Those incentives are helping consumer adoption of mobile shopping, according to the study. It found 32% of mobile phone users would use their devices for shopping if they received incentives such as coupons, discount offers, gift cards or text and e-mail alerts sent to their phones.

Consumers are taking mobile services more seriously and using their phones for more sophisticated personal uses and information gathering, said Cameron Franks, area VP of sales for Sybase 365. The company queried 1,000 adults about their mobile device usage.

“Awareness, ease of use, low and no-cost offerings and trust are the keys to the mobile commerce kingdom,” he said.

The US lost ground in the past two decades by juggling several mobile network standards, while the rest of the world adopted GSM as its standard. That caused a delayed consumer adoption, Franks explained.

“There are still far too many consumers who don't fully understand the differences, and capabilities, separating a feature phone from a smartphone,” he said. “That's an educational step we are in the process of making.”

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