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Survey: Online, mobile shopping on the rise for the holidays

Los Angeles -- Survey results released Thursday by PriceGrabber revealed that 16% of consumers will shop using a mobile device during the holiday season, compared with 13% last year. Nearly all respondents indicated that they will do some online shopping from a computer.

The number of consumers who plan to visit brick-and-mortar stores dropped by two percentage points to 46% compared with last year.

PriceGrabber's data also saw an increase in the percentage of purchases that will be made from a mobile device this holiday season compared with last year. In 2012, the average consumer will make 6% of their holiday purchases from a mobile phone, 62% online and 32% in brick-and-mortar stores. In 2011, the average shopper said he or she would make only 4% of purchases from a mobile phone, 63% online, and 33% in brick-and-mortar stores.

Of the survey respondents planning to use a mobile device to shop this holiday season, 37% said they plan to do the most shopping from their mobile device on Black Friday (Nov. 23). Cyber Monday (Nov. 26) followed closely with 36%. Eleven percent preferred the Saturday after Black Friday (Nov. 24) and 10% indicated Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 22). Only 6% plan to shop on Sunday, Nov. 25 from their mobile device.

When mobile shoppers were asked to select all of the ways in which they plan to use their mobile device to save money on holiday gifts this year, 70% said they plan to check prices online before making an offline purchase. Sixty-six percent indicated that they plan to make purchases from their mobile device, 52% plan to view retailer emails containing coupons and discounts while shopping in stores and 46% said they will use comparison shopping applications and bar code scanners to save money. Forty-one percent noted they will have retailer coupons texted directly to their phones, 40% plan to check store inventory before shopping in brick-and-mortar stores and 33% said they will download shopping apps to earn cash, rewards and points.

"We anticipate that online and mobile shopping will continue to increase in popularity this holiday season because it allows consumers to easily compare products and read merchant reviews, as well as locate the best price on every product without having to visit each and every brick-and-mortar store," said Rojeh Avanesian, VP marketing and analytics of PriceGrabber.com.

When asked to select all of the reasons why they will shop online or from a mobile device for gifts this year, 76% of survey respondents hope to avoid the crowds in brick-and-mortar stores. This number was closely followed by 75% who like to take advantage of free shipping and another 75% enjoy the convenience of shopping around the clock. Seventy-two percent cited the simplicity of price comparison shopping, 67% seek discounts and free shipping and 57% like to read customer reviews.