- Smartphones have become the most popular devices for online shopping, with an 8% gain in planned usage to 56% of North American consumers, per a survey by mobile video ad network AdColony provided to sister publication Mobile Marketer. Less than a third (28%) of shoppers plan to use a desktop or laptop for shopping, while only 16% will use a tablet, the survey found.
- About four out of five (81%) consumers said they have bought gifts on their mobile devices, while almost half (45%) of consumers use their smartphone to shop all the time. The most common purchases are clothing (43% of consumers), home goods (20%), books (9%), event tickets (9%), travel (8%), groceries (7%) and transportation tickets (3%).
- Most consumers (61%) said it's important or very important to have a mobile device while shopping in-store, and the most common uses for the devices while shopping are researching competitor prices (55%), signing up for a discount (46%), taking a picture for future reference (45%) and looking up product reviews (44%).
AdColony's survey suggests that merchants and brands need to have their mobile strategies in place to appeal to holiday shoppers who rely heavily on their smartphones to make online purchases or for assistance in stores. That growing preference for mobile shopping is meaningful for advertisers on social media and search platforms that have had added more shopping features to compete with traditional retailers and online stores like Amazon. More than a third (34%) of U.S. internet users said they had used social media to make a purchase, up from 29% last year, while another 27% said they were interested in social shopping, per a study by Bizrate Insights.
Mobile strategies are important as U.S. consumers plan to boost their holiday shopping by 7% to an average of $740 each, per a study by researcher NPD Group. Its survey found that one-fourth of digital shoppers will use a smartphone for holiday shopping this year, up from 19% two years ago. More than three-fourths of consumers will shop online this holiday season, while more than half of purchases will happen in stores, the survey found. That finding suggests that "bricks and clicks" marketing will be key for brands and retailers.
The National Retail Federation this month forecast a 3.8% to 4.2% gain in holiday sales from last year for a total of $727.9 billion to $730.7 billion. The growth belies a difficult year for brick-and-mortar retailers, which this year have announced plans to close 8,558 stores while opening 3,446 new outlets, per a report last month by Coresight Research. The eroding power of shopping malls and shifting tastes among young consumers have been evident with last month's bankruptcy filing by fast-fashion retailer Forever 21, which may close as many as 178 stores in the U.S. The U.S.-China trade war is a significant concern for retailers as tariffs on Chinese-made goods may raise prices on many consumer goods.