Study: Mobile App Use Will Surge This Holiday Shopping Season

Mobile apps have come into their own as a holiday shopping device.

Fully 90% of consumers plan to use mobile apps for their holiday shopping this year, and 73% will purchase at least half of their gifts via mobile, according to Bluedot’s 2021 Holiday Habits report, conducted by SurveyMonkey.  

Moreover, 64% expect to download at least one new retail app this year, versus 61% in 2020.  

But consumers are worried, 86% about supply-chain issues, lack of merchandise and labor shortages. 

For instance, 60% are concerned about inventory shortages and limited supply. And 59% fret over pricing increases (59%) empty shelves (43%) and long lines and wait times (40%).

In response, 45% plan to shop more on the web (45%) and 31% on mobile apps — among millennials, the percentage is 36%. Also, 28% expect to look for different or alternative items, and 24% to shop earlier in-store.  And, 20% will buy more experiences or gift cards. 

But habits vary by age group: 56% of millennials and 49% of Gen Z plan to do 75% of their shopping on mobile apps this year. Moreover, 21% of millennials and 24% of Gen Z anticipate downloading three or more new retail apps this year.  

In addition, 42% of Gen Zers are likely to purchase holiday gifts through social-media platforms.

Millennials will use curbside pickup the same amount as last year — 62% or more. So will 57% of Gen Zs.   

Also, 86% of millennials will use BOPIS. Baby boomers are least likely, with 33% planning not to use it at all.  

The lesson for email marketers is they better ensure their emails and web pages are app-friendly. And they should be ready for an online surge. 

“A fragile supply chain and staffing challenges are having a crippling effect on retailers,” states Judy Chan, CMO of Bluedot.

“The fight for share of wallet will not happen at brick-and-mortar, but digitally this year.”  

Chan continues: “For retailers, the data only reinforces the importance of getting a mobile strategy right. This includes robust functionality, loyalty programs and social commerce, as well as location technology, which eliminates the unwanted friction consumers are currently experiencing at pickup such as the excessive wait times at curbside revealed in this year’s report.” 

SurveyMonkey surveyed 1,058 U.S. Shoppers from September 28 - 29, 2021. Broken down by generations, the survey included Baby Boomers (30%), Gen X (29%), Millennials (26%), and Gen Z (15%).



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