Secretive Shoppers Prefer Using Mobile Apps

Mobile devices may take an even more important role in the annual holiday shopping spree this year. In addition to finding deals-on-the-go, a new survey reveals some additional reasons that make shopping from a handheld device more appealing than from a computer — all of which involve keeping certain parties in the dark.

A new survey of 2,200 U.S. adults released today (Aug. 23) predicts that three out of five mobile app users would consider purchasing their holiday gifts on a mobile device, be that an iPhone, iPad or Android phone or tablet. The survey was conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Apigee, a company that builds the software to fuel mobile shopping apps for companies including Gilt, Walgreens and eBay. Books, electronics and gift cards were the top three gifts mentioned by the respondents.

The survey also included questions about the appeal of mobile shopping in general. Along with the well-known benefits of browsing for deals wherever you are, checking prices in stores in search of a better deal and locating the closest store, people liked the idea of shopping in secret.

Who knows what you're doing on your phone in the middle of a meeting? Sure, you could be checking vital email, but you could just as easily be eyeing a new pair of boots. Twelve percent of respondents confessed to shopping on their devices at work, and 14 percent said they shop from their phones or tablets to avoid buying embarrassing or personal items from a work computer where an employer could see transactions.

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And the intrigue continued at home. Twenty-five percent of mobile app users said they liked to shop on their handheld devices to hide their shopping from their spouses — whether that was for a surprise gift or an item outside the agreed-on family budget remained a mystery.

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