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A new study done for NRF’s division found more than half of all retail-related time consumers spend on the Internet now occurs on a smartphone or tablet.

“Mobile can’t be viewed simply as an ancillary device,” executive director Vicki Cantrell says. “Retailers have to continue to invest to make sure they get their mobile offerings right or [they] will increasingly risk alienating customers and leaving significant money on the table.”

The 2013 Social and Mobile Commerce Report, produced with comScore and The Partnering Group, found 55 percent of online shopping — not necessarily buying — takes place on mobile devices, compared with 45 percent on desktop computers. Smartphones account for 44 percent of all time spent by consumers on retail websites, up from 17 percent in 2010. Tablet usage accounts for 11 percent.

Consumers are using mobile devices to find a store, look at both a retailer’s own website and competitors’ sites while in a store, find online coupons, research product information and comparison shop for prices. But when it comes to actually making a purchase, 69 percent still go to a desktop; 34 percent reported using a tablet, and 21 percent a smartphone, to complete a transaction. Of those who do actually buy on their mobile devices, shoppers spent an average $97 when using a smartphone and $76 when using a tablet during the second quarter of this year.

Mobile shopping totaled $4.7 billion during the second quarter, up 24 percent from last year and now accounting for 8.6 percent of all U.S. e-commerce dollars, according to the report.