Timed with the official kickoff of the retail industry’s most critical period and the climax of holiday season offerings, this week marks the wrap-up of our six-part investigative series.

With our Alert Shopper in-person interviews and third-party studies, we pioneered research in retail as it relates to understanding the role of mobile in commerce and mobile advertising. Over the last few months, you met Karyn M., 52-year-old mother who depends on a few select stores to make finding same-day sales and deals easy; Anthony C., 39-year-old early adopter who researches gadget specs online before making purchases; Garrick L., 16-year-old student who doesn’t mind being interrupted to receive messages about a good sale going on; and Joni, 46-year-old mother who brings her phone with her while she’s out shopping and checks her messages throughout the shopping trip.

Our final video clip will highlight significant trends uncovered throughout our interview series: mobile devices are an integral part of consumers’ daily lifestyle, not only for everyday communication, but for research on sales and deals at stores like Levi’s, Jamba Juice, Target and Best Buy.

We also underscore precedential data from our recent Harris Interactive survey. After surveying more than 2,000 consumers, we learned there is a high interest in receiving mobile messages from consumers’ favorite establishments, especially among young consumers, ages 18 – 44. We also learned there is a strong interest among both men and women to receive opt-in mobile alerts from consumers’ favorite establishments. Among these establishments, food, entertainment and fashion top the list.

This comes as no surprise to the National Retail Federation, who reported shoppers’ destination of choice as department stores, with nearly half of shoppers over the Black Friday weekend visiting at least one department store, an approximate 13 percent increase from 2008. Electronics was a popular category this last weekend, with Best Buy reporting an increase in foot traffic over last year. Overall, 195 million consumers visited stores and websites over the weekend, 23 million more shoppers than last year.

Indeed, economic recovery is on the rise, as the four-day weekend totaled $41.2 billion, up slightly from $41 billion last year. These figures show why some retailers such as J. Crew are noticing improving demand heading into their holiday shopping season. J.Crew reported higher profit on a 14% sales increase for Q3 and American Eagle recently posted a higher quarterly profit.

A recent survey conducted by Deloitte shows mobile devices will be used more than ever this holiday shopping season. Fifty-five percent of consumers plan to use their mobile phones to search store locations; 45 percent will use their phone to research prices; 40 percent will use their phone to locate product information; and 32 percent will find discounts and coupons on their mobile phone this holiday season. Among young consumers, ages 18 to 29, mobile usage for shopping is expected to increase even more, with 4 out of 10 (39 percent) planning to use their mobile phone for holiday shopping.

Now that we know mobile devices improve consumers’ shopping experience, do consumers feel their cell phones will become even more important to them in the future? This is what we’ll explore in our final video here: