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25pc of surveyed consumers will use mobile sites to buy gifts this year: study

The Compete study looked at how much consumers will spend on holiday spending and which channels will play the largest roles. The study primarily focused on digital channels and how online is spreading to mobile channels this year.

“I found it surprising how many people have purchased on mobile device because I think of mobile as being used more for price comparison and bar code scanning,” said Debra Miller Arbesman, senior associate of retail and consumer products at Compete, Boston.

“However, we saw that people were purchasing on their device, which shows how mobile commerce will become the same as ecommerce in the future,” she said.

Mobile spend
Despite the rise in online shopping, in-store shopping still plays a major role in the holidays, especially on Black Friday.

According to the Compete fall 2011 online shopper intelligence survey, two in five consumers surveyed will brave the stores on Black Friday, making mobile a large part of helping consumers navigate prices, sales and store availability.

To compare, the study found that one in two consumers will use the Internet to bargain hunt on Cyber Monday.

The study also found some interesting statistics on mobile usage in general.

When asked what types of shopping-related activities they use on their mobile device, 56 percent of consumers said they found store information. Forty-one percent of consumers compared prices, and 36 percent reviewed a product description.

Thirty-three percent of consumers looked for mobile coupons on their devices.

Additionally, the study found that consumers were more likely to perform shopping-related activities at home.

Sixty-three percent of consumers surveyed said they performed shopping-related activities while at home, 35 percent said they used their mobile devices while shopping in-store and 28 percent of consumers used them while at work.

In the study, 47 percent of mobile shoppers preferred to use the mobile Web to shop, 38 percent used both applications and the mobile Web and 15 percent used only apps.

53 percent of consumers who used a shopping app in the study said they used a retailer’s app, showing the importance of brand loyalty in the study.

Shopping app owners were also interested in comparison shopping. Thirty-nine percent of shopping app owners surveyed said that they used a bar code scanning app.

Holiday spirit
The study found that the average consumer planned to spend $515 this holiday season on gifts.

Additionally, consumers surveyed said they planned to spend 41 percent of their holiday budgets online, up from 33 percent last year.

Fourteen percent of consumers planned to spend more this holiday season than past years, and 36 percent of consumers said they planned to decrease their holiday budget.

Fifty percent of consumers surveyed said they planned to spend the same amount from last year on this year’s holiday spend.

“From all the data I’ve seen over the past year, consumers don’t think about mobile differently than the desktop,” Ms. Arbesman said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York