The importance of mobile shopping over the Christmas period was also highlighted in data from IBM. It found that online sales on Boxing Day 2012 increased by 44.95% compared to 2011.

There was also a large increase in mobile traffic with the number of consumers using a mobile device to visit a retailer’s site reaching 30.72%, up from 19.8% on Boxing Day in 2011.

This tallies with data from Kenshoo which found that smartphones and tablets accounted for more than a quarter (28%) of the clicks on retail paid search ads in the run up to Christmas.

Our survey also asked consumers whether they had used a mobile while shopping in-store to check reviews and prices. The behaviour is known as ‘showrooming’ and is becoming more common as smartphone usage increases.

One in five (21%) UK respondents admitted to showrooming compared to 26% in the US. This is backed up by recent Foolproof research which found that 24% of consumers had used their mobile to check prices and reviews in-store.

In an effort to combat the potentially damaging impact of showrooming several US retailers took step to embrace consumer use of mobile in-store.

Best Buy ran a price match guarantee during the holiday shopping season, promising to meet the prices of major online retailers in-store.

Similarly, Target used a QR code display that allowed shoppers to buy the top 20 toys online using their smartphone, thereby avoiding the long queues. Purchases were then shipped free-of-charge.

The use of mobile technology in-store is one of the central themes discussed in our report How The Internet Can Save The High Street, which also looks at topics including in-store Wi-Fi, reserve and collect, pop-up shops and QR codes.