Mobile users will be big holiday buyers


Shopping / Christmas / HolidayAbout half of all Americans own a smartphone, and according to a new survey from Deloitte, most of the owners will be using it to shop this holiday season. And as a group, they will be spending more too.

Over two thirds – 68% — will be making active use of their smartphones during their shopping this year.

And here’s the amazing number: Smartphone users are expected to spend 72% more than non-users, across all categories. Deloitte says it will come it at an average expenditure of $1,428 on things like “…gifts, entertaining at home, socializing away from home, non-gift clothing, home/holiday furnishings and other holiday spending.”

“We anticipate that retailers will increasingly interact with mobile shoppers this holiday season,” said Alison Paul, vice chairman, Deloitte LLP, and retail & distribution sector leader.  “Deloitte’s research into smartphones’ influence on in-store sales indicates that the conversion rate for shoppers who use a retailer’s dedicated mobile application is 21 percent higher than those who do not.  This holiday season, branded applications, Wi-Fi connectivity and personalized, location-based promotions from retailers can enable shoppers to make an immediate buying decision in the store.”

There are a number of ways that the phones will be used: 62% will scout out store locations, 58% will compare prices, and 50% will get product info.

The internet will loom large once again, as 45% will make purchases online. 48% will make social media part of their shopping strategy. 47% of online shoppers will be looking primarily for low prices and 71% will primarily use internet venues that offer free shipping.

Still, a well-informed staff remains important at traditional retail locations, particularly in the consumer electronics area, where 43% said they are likely to seek help from a staffer.

“The store continues to be central to holiday shopping, but its role and that of the store associate is evolving as the physical and virtual shopping experiences merge,” continued Paul.  “Associates should be more informed and empowered than in the past; they should have the ability to make price-matching decisions on the spot, and be well-versed on promotions and products that customers are viewing via the retailer’s mobile and online channels.”

RBR-TVBR observation: If it isn’t obvious by now, we wonder what it will take to make it obvious that traditional businesses will have to adapt the new digital platforms if they wish to have a future. That goes for brick and mortar retailers, and it goes for the media that wishes to serve them. It doesn’t have to be your business – but it had better be a part of it.