Commentary

Many Consumers Prepped for Mobile Holiday Shopping

This holiday season could put mobile commerce even more solidly on the map.

Several weeks back, a top executive from comScore said at a meeting that holiday shopping this year could cause the last quarter to top the $10 billion spending mark.

That statement has since been bolstered by research pointing in the same direction.

A recent study found that more consumers (42%) plan to shop more on their smartphone or tablet this year compared to a year ago.

When it comes to spending, more than a third (35%) will spend $250 or more using a mobile device while a smaller number (17%) will spend more than $500, according to the survey by Hipcricket.

But not all of the mobile activity will happen in the store, with a majority (84%) using their smartphone or tablet to research a purchase

Consistent with other research, the survey found that some consumers (39%) will use mobile to search for product coupons.

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In the survey, the top categories for mobile purchase this holiday season are books, clothing and footwear, music and video, consumer electronics and event tickets.

In another study, by Parks Associates, a quarter of consumers were found to be using mobile commerce apps to help with in-store purchase decisions. In that study, the top categories for mobile shopping were product research, barcode scanning and interaction with the retailer or brand app.

That study also found that many (42%) of U.S. smartphone owners bought something through their mobile device in the last month.

However, the market is hardly uniform. For example, men are more likely than women to purchase using a mobile device, according to the Hipcricket survey. They are also more likely to compare prices via mobile while in a retail store.

And a majority (54%) of Target shoppers used a mobile commerce app while shopping for electronics, compared to fewer (38%) of Walmart shoppers, according to the Parks Associates study.

Mobile commerce has been on a gradual build for some time. The coming shopping season may cause many merchants to take note of how big that wave may be.

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