Commentary

Holiday Mobile Shopping Could Top Record

Holiday spending via mobile could one on pace to set a record this holiday season.

We got a good recap of the state of mobile commerce from Josh Chasin, chief research officer of comScore, who kicked off the MediaPost OMMA Mobile conference earlier this week.

Of all the time spent on mobile, he said most (85%) is spent on apps, with the smallest amount (15%) spent on browsers.

Almost $5 billion was spent on m-commerce on the second quarter, up 23% from the same time last year.

Chasin said with the holiday shopping the last quarter of this year, it could be the first m-commerce quarter to top $10 billion in spending.

And when it comes to discretionary spending, mobile growth tops everything. Total spending growth for all retail was relatively small (3%) as was e-commerce (14%). But growth spending mobile by was considerably larger (28%) than them both.

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But when it comes to the actual transaction, desktop rules (69%) compared to buying on a tablet (34%) or smartphone (21%). This, of course, is only the transaction part and not the entire research and shopping influence portion of shopping.

More mobile shoppers (63%) spend via smartphones compared to tablets (37%), but tablets users spend more on a per-user basis.

Interestingly, Chasin’s research showed that for retail time spent shopping, the majority (71%) use apps rather than browsers (29%).

This is the exact opposite of what some major brick and mortar retailers tell me. The discrepancy may be because of the inclusion of Amazon, with its one-click purchase app, included in the comScore research.

Also, for tablet-only shopping, the majority (56%) are using mobile browsers rather than apps (44%).

Chasin also included some other comScore research around in-store behavior. In a store, smartphone owners:

  • 43% -- Took a picture of a product
  • 35% -- Texted or called family/friends about a product
  • 33% -- Sent picture of product to family/friends
  • 30% -- Scanned a product barcode
  • 22% -- Compared product prices
  • 19% -- Found coupons or deals
  • 18% -- Found store location

When it comes to shopping from home, comScore found that tablets dominated, with most (71%) of consumers saying they use them to shop from home.

The big question mark is the magnitude of mobile shopping this holiday season, which could be a big wake-up call for merchants who don’t yet take commerce seriously.

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