Question of the Day: What is the #1 way that shoppers use their cell phones to help with in-store purchases?

Jan 07, 2019
Question of the Day, Purchase Decisions, Behavioral Finance

Answer: Call or text someone to discuss a purchase


  • Have you ever used a cellphone to help with a purchase decision while inside a store? 
    • If so, which of the four actions above have you done and how did it affect your purchase? 
  • Do you often reach out to friends before making an online purchase? 
  • How do you use online reviews before purchasing a product? How do you judge whether or not a review is credible and should be believed? 

Here's the ready-to-go slides for this Question of the Day that you can use in your classroom.

Behind the numbers (Pew Research Center):

Today cellphone ownership is nearly ubiquitous, and roughly two-thirds of Americans have smartphones. And as the reach of these mobile devices have expanded, many consumers are using them to augment and assist with their physical and in-person purchasing experiences.

The survey asked about four different ways that people might utilize their mobile phones while making purchasing decisions inside physical stores and found that calls for advice and assistance are especially common: Nearly six-in-ten Americans (59%) say that they have used their cellphones to call or text someone while inside a store to discuss purchases they are thinking of making. 


Keep the conversation on teen shopping going with this popular PBS NewsHour video "Why We Crave What's Cool." 

About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.