SAN FRANCISCO: Most US shoppers are planning to visit bricks and mortar stores during the upcoming holiday season, despite widespread reservations about crowds and long lines, while one in four intends to make a purchase from a retailer they have not previously used, according to two new surveys.

Research for Aerohive Networks, a mobile networking company, and Euclid, a bricks and mortar analytics specialist, involving interviews with 2,022 adults of whom 1,801 identified themselves as holiday shoppers, found that 88% of holiday shoppers planned on visiting physical stores this holiday season, even though 42% expressed concerns about crowds and 29% worried about checkout lines.

Separately, the Google 2013 Holiday Shopping Intentions Study, reported in MediaPost, found that nearly two in three shoppers planned to shop around for gift ideas and that 63% did not have specific brands in mind.

Further, some 59% were open to purchasing from new retailers and one quarter said they intended to do so.

There were, suggested Google, plenty of opportunities for brands to reach new customers and the study pointed to certain tactics that might help, including the use of various deals such as discounts, sought by 81% of survey respondents, free shipping (76%) and purchase incentives (60%).

Online retailers would also need to turn their websites into digital store windows for the holiday season and to ensure mobile optimisation of sites. The study revealed that increasing numbers of smartphone owners planned to use them while holiday shopping (76%) while one in four indicated an intention to make purchases via mobile.

This trend was most evident among those aged 18 to 34, where 95% said they would be using the internet as a holiday shopping resource. And one in three smartphone owners in this age group planned to make a holiday purchase on their phone, up 28% year on year.

There was a clear contrast with the intentions of older adults, where the comparable figures were 87% using the internet for shopping purposes and just 17% buying via mobile.

Google's study also highlighted the increasing fluidity of device use by consumers when they are shopping, with 80% using more than one device simultaneously. In addition, 84% started product research on one device and completed purchase on another.

Data sourced from Euclid, MediaPost; additional content by Warc staff