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Why Mobile Needs To Be Central To Your Holiday Shopping Strategy

Team InMobi
4 min read
Posted on June 07, 2022

The upcoming holiday shopping season is shaping up to (hopefully) be the first true post-pandemic holiday shopping season in the U.S. Considering that total U.S. holiday retail sales rose over 8% year-over-year in 2021, does this mean that 2022 is all sunshine and rainbows? 

Not quite. Inflation, rising gas prices, labor shortages and lingering supply chain issues all threaten to damper the holiday season. 

In some sense, however, these concerns are nothing new. Not only did year-over-year prices rise over 3% in December 2021, but consumers also saw approximately 6 billion out-of-stock messages last holiday season

Despite all the headwinds, what can retailers and manufacturers do to see success this holiday season? The answer is in the palm of your hand. 

Highlighting The Growth and Ubiquity of Mobile 

The key to success this year is to reach consumers through their favorite screen: Mobile. U.S. consumers will spend close to four and half hours using mobile devices in 2022 – as compared to just over three hours spent watching linear TV. Over a third of all time spent with media will be devoted to mobile this year. 

Let’s dive into mobile more. For one thing, close to 90% of all time spent on mobile is devoted to apps. 

And the top apps used may surprise you. Of all time spent on mobile, less than one-fourth (23%) is spent using social media, according to eMarketer’s figures. 

Mobile’s Role in Product Discovery 

It’s one thing to note the growth and scale of mobile. But how can mobile help retailers and manufacturers? As InMobi's research has shown, in-app advertising is ideal for product discovery. 

According to InMobi’s first-party research, over one in five Americans said they enjoy seeing ads in apps. Additionally, 53% say they discover new products through mobile advertising.  

After seeing and interacting with an ad for a product that interests them, what action do Americans usually take? The top response was visit a brand’s website (32%), followed by open or download the brand’s app (16%).  

Where are consumers seeing these ads? Top answers include gaming apps (25%), social apps (23%), streaming apps (15%), mobile webpages (15%) and news apps (14%).   

Mobile’s Role in Shopping 

Mobile devices have proven critical beyond just product discovery too. For starters, retail m-commerce holiday season sales in the U.S. rose over 14% in 2021, totaling more than $93 billion. And eMarketer is predicting an additional increase of close to 20% for this year. 

InMobi’s research backs this up. Just 28% of those between the ages of 18 and 24 said they shopped in store during the 2021 holiday season. Across all age ranges, 30% shopped for gifts via a mobile website or app

While some of this mobile-led commerce is undoubtedly a result of shoppers looking to avoid crowds, the convenience and ease offered by mobile-first transactions is clearly here to stay.  

And even when consumers are not purchasing directly from mobile, it still is playing a major part in the final purchase. Consider these facts

  • 69% of people will look up a product online before coming to a store to make a purchase. 
  • People who see a location-based mobile ad and actually visit a brick-and-mortar location are 25% more likely than others to make an e-commerce purchase with that brand.  
  • 46% of consumers look up products and conduct research on items while shopping in store.   
  • Of all the people who are exposed to a typical location-based mobile ad campaign, about two-thirds of them will later make a purchase with that brand. 
  • 60% say they will continue BOPIS (buy online, pick up in store) post pandemic while 47% will continue store curbside pickup.   

Putting Together The Complete Mobile Picture 

To succeed this holiday season, retailers and manufacturers need to understand how media (esp. mobile) is used at every stage of different consumer segments' buying journey. Mobile is the top screen for most Americans, and it becomes even more important as consumers venture back outside in greater numbers. 

Interested in kicking off your holiday shopping season on the right foot? Reach out to InMobi! Get in touch at efficientbuying@inmobi.com.  

As the leading experts in mobile, InMobi can help you execute successful advertising and marketing campaigns this holiday season which reach consumers at scale through their most-used device. 

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