NEW YORK: More than 40% of the "global consumer class" now engage in showrooming, or checking prices on a mobile phone while in bricks-and-mortar stores, according to a new multimarket study.

First Data, the payments group, polled nearly 4,000 adults in ten countries. All of its participants had a bank account, as well as a credit or debit card, and were thus described as a "global consumer class".

On average, 45% of this audience used their phones to compare prices in stores, with India and China registering the highest scores. Although a smaller 40% of Americans did the same, this marked an improvement from 30% last year.

A further 60% of respondents had determined product availability online prior to visiting a physical retailer. China and India again topped the charts, and Germany lagged the rest on around 30%.

To date, a 65% majority of the survey community have downloaded a retailer's app. More than half also liked "anything that will speed up shopping or the checkout process", climbing to 73% in China and 68% in Mexico.

Meanwhile, approximately 50% of people post product reviews on the web, growing to 83% in China, then 64% in India and 60% in Germany.

Eight out of ten interviewees in China and India regularly turned to social media before making a purchase, indicating the particular importance of this channel in these markets.

An additional 72% of Chinese consumers and 66% of their Mexican counterparts preferred companies which were "smart" about using social media and technology.

Similarly, almost 50% of the sample wanted firms to enhance the targeting of their ads and offers. Contributors in China recorded 76% on this metric, with Mexico in second on 64%. Buyers in Germany, however, yielded only 22%.

Smartphone ownership peaked in China on 92%, followed by Singapore with 89%. The three Middle Eastern nations assessed - the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt - averaged 80%.

Totals on this measure fell to 68% in the US, beating the 55% posted in Germany, as well as the 50% penetration rate in Brazil. Uptake rates rose to 80% for 18-34 year olds across the globe, the analysis added.

When discussing financial management, some 71% of the "global consumer class" wanted to be able to view their balance and account data anytime and anywhere.

Most had already used internet banking tools, and a quarter accessed these services through their smartphone.

Data sourced from First Data; additional content by Warc staff