The 2012 holiday shopping season may well go down as “year of the mobile.”
According to new research from Burst Media, more consumers than ever will be using their mobile devices for online shopping this holiday season, and those that do are more likely to make a purchase online, search for locations where a specific product can be purchased and search for last minute holiday deals.
The survey of 1,200 adults conducted in October also found that nearly one-third (30%) of consumers will use a smartphone to go online for holiday shopping. Among shoppers 18-34, the percentage is even higher (40%) and is a greater percentage than those who will use desktop computers for their holiday shopping (31%).
“The big story for marketers is they have a new way to reach their consumers,” Jessica Chaset, senior vice president for mobile solutions at Burst, tells Marketing Daily. “Mobile certainly affords them yet another way to connect with their end user, and it’s another way to communicate deals and offers and promotions.”
Perhaps the biggest use of mobile during shopping will be for “show rooming,” in which a shopper uses a store to check out an item in person before finding it elsewhere or buying it online. According to Burst, more than a third (37%) of consumers have used a smartphone or tablet to aid with shopping at a physical location. Of them, nearly 40% use their devices to research and compare prices of different stores, 37% do research or compare prices of different brands and 33% use them to access promotional coupons and discount codes.
This final use may be of the most important for retailers who want to prevent the practice, and turn shoppers into buyers, Chaset says. Mobile Internet users were nearly twice as likely to look for last minute deals than those accessing the Internet on a traditional computer, according to the survey (29% vs. 16%).
“Certainly, there are going to be users who do buy exclusively online, but [mobile programs] give retailers the opportunity when customers are in the stores to provide them with offers,” she says. “They want to make sure they put their best foot forward and they have the opportunity to make the sales right then and there.”
Finally, the survey revealed nearly 90% of consumers still had items to buy on their list, indicating there’s still plenty of time to reach consumers before the season is over. “People are shopping much later and the season itself is still in play,” Chaset says. “Specifically for last minute deals, there’s a really strong opportunity to reach customers.”
Busy Woman Shopping from Shutterstock