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Deloitte predicts mobile will play key role in holiday shopping process

Consumers are turning to smartphones to make the most of their holiday budgets this year, according to Deloitte’s 25th annual holiday survey.

Shoppers 18-29 are expected to drive a significant portion of mobile usage this holiday season, with 37 percent planning to use their mobile phones during the shopping process. This group also ranks mobile No. 1 on the list of products or technologies that had the most significant impact on their lives (60 percent). 

“We think that mobile will change in that it will become more mainstream—as retailers embrace mobile as an advertising and marketing vehicle and as the devices become capable of even more functionality, mobile will become even more mainstream,” said Alison Paul, vice chairman and retail sector leader at Deloitte, New York.

“We are already hearing a variety of uses from consumers – in addition to checking prices, more than half of the mobile users said they would leverage their phone to find store locations while 46 percent said they would use it to pull down product info,” she said.

“Other uses included actual shopping/ordering online and reading reviews of products.”

The survey was commissioned by Deloitte and conducted online by an independent research company between Sept. 23 and Oct. 10.

The survey polled a sample of 12,418 consumers and has a margin of error for the entire sample of plus or minus one percentage point.

Mobile shopping
Among all survey respondents, nearly one out of five (17 percent) plan to use their mobile phones during the holiday shopping process.

And, among those who plan to use their mobile phones to shop, more than half (56 percent) plan to compare prices or find store locations (54 percent).

Additionally, nearly half (46 percent) plan to look for product information, while about four out of 10 will use their phones to shop (42 percent) or read reviews (39 percent).

“We are recommending that retailers make sure they do two things when entering into the mobile fray—first, make sure that your messaging and delivery fit seamlessly into your overall  marketing strategy,” Ms. Paul said.

“If it is not integrated, it may not help the brand’s overall image nor compel consumers to act,” he said.

“Second, mobile is not just your Web site on a phone—make sure the images and information fit a mobile device—that it is timely and readable.”