Its holiday season now and traditionally Black Friday, the day following Thanksgiving, sets the shopping rhythm. The National Retail Federation (NRF) estimates that the average holiday shopper in US will spend $749.51 on gifts, decor, greeting cards and more compared to the $740.57 they actually spent last year. Their 2012 Holiday Consumer Spending Survey estimates that US holiday sales will increase 4.1% to $586.1 billion. As per eMarketer, US retail eCommerce holiday sales will reach $54.5 billion in 2012, up 16.8% over 2011.
So what will be different this time around? All the reports seem to suggest that mobile shopping and the use of mobile phones for planning and deal hunting will be the most significant consumer trend this holiday season. Naturally this was bound to happen as year on year the smartphone penetration and the use of mobile phones for nearly everything is rising. And why not? Why would anyone want to get up at 5 a.m., wait in a queue near a retail store only to find out that the deals were better in a different store. Instead now, consumers can browse holiday shopping deals directly online or from their mobile device and also compare deals across stores.
The most interesting thing about mobile is its ability to provide relevant and timely interactions. As part of the 2012 ForeSee Mobile Satisfaction Index: Retail Edition, on the usage of mobile for holiday shopping:
- 39% think they will use mobile sites and apps more this year than last to research products.
- 26% will use mobile more to comparison shop while in retail stores.
- 21% plan to use mobile more to purchase products this holiday season.
- 18% will use them more to locate stores.
The biggest consumer trend this holiday season is to leverage mobile devices to make holiday shopping easier and more convenient. Consumers are also increasingly relying on mobile devices to check prices online before making an offline purchase and utilize mobile devices in stores to get best product pricing by using apps to compare. An eMarketer survey has found that the number of online purchasers who planned to buy a gift on a mobile device this holiday season almost doubled to 21%, up from 11% last year. Cost comparisons are one of the most favored uses of smartphones by shoppers
Winning Strategies for Retailers this holiday season
This holiday season retailers and marketers won’t want to miss this mobile revolution. Retailers will need to consider a mobile platform integrated into their winning strategy this holiday season and here are a few things to look at:
- First and foremost, having a mobile optimized website or an app suitable for mobile shopping, price comparisons, discounts and accessing in-store inventories with minimum requirements on mobile related features such as touch to zoom and support for gestures
- Ensuring the mobile experience capitalizes on the social behavior of the consumer by integrating with social networks and listening to questions, complaints or suggestions and acting on them by personalized response
- Having trending items right on the mobile home page and providing a single click experience to purchase
- Integrating digital and physical experience by making the mobile site or app optimized for in-store search behavior and integrated inventories
- Having QR codes on the shelf to help the mobile consumer to capture the product information for quick comparisons and reviews
- Capturing consumer information via mobile apps as they browse the store and providing personalized promotions
- Integrating loyalty points with mobile apps and extending location based offers to drive conversion
- Having mobile optimized coupons to provide more impact for consumers who are to save money
This holiday season is all set to make mobile a prime platform for shopping. This mobile influence led the NRF to forecast 2012 as the “year of the mobile shopper” and we will see this exhibited most during the holiday season.
Mobile shopping lives up to the needs of the consumers, who are looking for great bargains, avoiding long queues, delivering gifts on the move. One thing is for sure, as more people use mobile for shopping there will be more apps, discounts and options for mobile shopping.
This holiday season mobile matters the most.
InMobi wishes all a very happy mobile holiday season.