There’s no doubt that people still enjoy the real-world shopping experience, but new research by Google and Ipsos shows that consumers are using smartphones, tablets and desktop computers throughout the purchase process.

That bodes pretty well for those companies who have a big presence on the ol’ Internet-machine, don’t you think?

Results of one survey show that 46 per cent of respondents used smartphones to research an item before going to buy it in a store. In a similar vein, 37 per cent researched an item on their phone before purchasing it online.

The research also found that some activities are more popular on specific devices. Tablet owners read product reviews and looked for product info more often using their PCs or smartphones. Makes sense? Who doesn’t like lounging around on the couch with a nice big touchscreen browsing through products.

According to the data, consumers used their smartphones for directly contacting retailers (makes sense) but preferred using PCs for comparing prices and looking for discounts and promotions.

Overall, people are relying on mobile devices more for shopping. Of the respondents, 80 per cent of smartphone shoppers and 70 per cent of tablet users said they used their device more frequently this year (2011).

So when will shopping be something you only do on your tablet or smartphone? We’ll let Apple and Google answer that one for us…

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