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Increasingly plugged in cell phone users spell opportunity

Washington - As more American use their cell phones for web browsing, m-commerce is creating "a paradigm shift" in retailing, according to the National Retail Federation.

"Americans expect more from their phones than the ability to talk to family and friends," said NRF president and ceo Matt Shay. "Aside from sending pictures and sharing stories and experiences over social networking sites, consumers want to be able to connect with their favorite retailers in a way they never have been able to before - instantaneously."

Nine in 10 americans now have cell phones, according to a recent survey by BigResearch for the National Retail Federation's Mobile Retail Initiative.


The survey found 41.5 percent of adults want a cell phone with internet access, compared to just under one-third (32.6%) who said so in July 2008. More than half (51.4%) of adults 18-34 years old say they want to be able to surf the web on their phone, compared to the 41.0 percent who said so in July 2008.

"The combination of new technologies coupled with consumers' desire to adopt these new apps are redefining the cell phone into a ‘consumer communicator'," said Phil Rist, executive vp of strategy, BIGresearch. "Marketers and retailers should leverage shopper's needs to stay connected by providing information and communications to assist them with their purchase decisions."

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