There's no shortage of ways to go shopping these days, but using our smartphones seems to be a particularly popular option.
According to a survey by IRI, shoppers across Europe are increasingly going online to find offers and promotions to make their grocery shop a bit cheaper.
Much of this traffic appears to be coming from smartphones, with 31 per cent of shoppers in the UK using a mobile app to find information online whenever they're looking to make a purchase.
Figures also showed that 31 per cent of consumers “infoseek” before shopping, using the internet to gather as much information about an item as they can before parting with their cash. Similarly, 31 per cent do this while they're actually shopping.
Almost a fifth of those who use their smartphones in store say they are looking for promotions, while one in ten are searching for information about and another one in ten are using digital coupons.
And for many, this is delivering results, with more than half of those polled saying this does help them save money.
Livio Martucci, director at IRI and analyst of the survey, commented: “There is clear evidence that shoppers are carefully planning what they buy to save money as well as ensure that they are buying the healthier food options that they desire.
“Increased demand for healthier food options such as vegan or gluten-free and concern about food provenance is clearly of key importance for infoseekers. Further, they may also be looking to reduce waste for cost and environmental issues.”
Of course, a popular argument against online shopping is the fact that sometimes there is no substitute for being able to physically see a product in store before opening your purse or wallet.
But that's why smartphones are proving so useful, with consumers able to search online for information even when they're in a shop, something they couldn't do if they were ordering from their home PC.
More than half of the people surveyed revealed they prefer seeing and touching products in store rather than buy online. At the same time, one in four said it can be easier to compare prices in store too.
The findings suggest therefore that many people are enjoying the best of both worlds, benefiting from the in-store experience and taking advantage of the wealth of information available at their fingertips.
As a result, IRI believes retailers might find it worthwhile to actively target smartphone users more heavily as they're pushing deals.
This would almost certainly be a win-win for both parties, with companies potentially getting a few extra sales and customers being easily pointed towards great deals on their platform of choice.
“There is clearly an opportunity for them to use mobile advertising and promotions while shoppers are in list prepping mode as well as when they are in store,” Mr Martucci commented.
Smartphones are now a crucial part of the shopping experience for many of us, and their importance only looks set to grow in the coming years.