Holiday Shoppers Embrace Mobile Payments

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NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Consumers are growing increasingly comfortable using their cell phones to shop.

Coremetrics, a group that tracks online shopping data, recently reported that 5.6% of consumers who shopped on retail sites during Black Friday this year did so from a mobile phone. That may not sound like a lot, but it’s actually a remarkable 26.7% increase from the number who did so during Black Friday last year.

In fact, this trend is likely to continue throughout the holiday season this year.

Deloitte, a consulting firm, found that nearly one in five consumers plans to use a mobile phone to help their shopping this holiday season, and nearly 40% of those between 18 and 29 plan to do so.

Indeed, the dozens of useful smartphone apps released this year that help improve the shopping experience are a testament to mobile shopping’s increasing popularity. Now, rather than take the salesperson’s word for how good a deal something is, consumers can use apps like Amazon Price Check and TheFind to compare prices before making a purchase.

There is a potential downside to the mobile shopping phenomenon, though.

While cell phones may be a convenient way to shop, they are not always the most secure option. As we reported recently, it’s harder to distinguish a legitimate website from a scam website on a cell phone because of the stripped-down browsers that many phones use. Moreover, cell networks are arguably less secure than wired networks, and if you happen to be using Wi-Fi while shopping, your personal information is especially vulnerable.

For more tips about how to shop safely on your cell phone, check out this MainStreet article.

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