Mobile will drive US holiday sales

10 November 2014

CHICAGO: As US consumers prepare for the busy holiday season, nearly three-quarters (73%) of those owning mobile devices plan to use them to go shopping this year, a new survey has shown.

Based on a nationwide poll of 1,000 US adults conducted at the end of October by Retale, the online shopping site, over half (54%) said they intend to shop both online and in physical stores.

Almost a quarter (24%) said they would shop only at a bricks-and-mortar store, while the remaining 22% intend just to shop online.

Of the 73% planning to use a mobile device this season, the report said finding deals (97%) is the most common mobile shopping activity likely to take place this year.

This is followed by price comparison and researching products (96% each), accessing coupons (92%), finding stores (89%), and buying directly from the device (85%).

On average, 60% of these activities take place both in and out of stores because mobile devices are increasingly used to support both experiences, the report said.

Most mobile shopping activity will take place on smartphones, rather than tablets, with far more respondents (47%) opting for smartphones over tablets (32%).

The top smartphone activities are finding store locations (61%), finding deals (48%) and accessing coupons (48%) whereas researching products online (42%) is the top activity for tablet users.

"During the holiday season, mobile is increasingly critical for shoppers, whether in-store or out," said Pat Dermody, president of Retale.

"There is no doubt that mobile must be a part of everyone's holiday strategy from giving customers an opportunity to find deals to helping them find your stores to buying from their devices, mobile is where it's at this year," she added.

It comes as the latest IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark has forecast that more than half (53%) of all online shopping on Thanksgiving will come from a mobile device, for the first time ever. Mobile shopping will increase 23% year-over-year, IBM said.

It also projected that online sales will increase 15% over the five-day period between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, with the biggest increase in online sales expected on Cyber Monday.

Data sourced from Retale, IBM, MarketWatch; additional content by Warc staff