Mobile Has Fundamentally Changed Holiday Shopping

8/24/2011 02:24:00 PM

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The end of the year has always been an exciting time for retailers across both online and offline channels. This year, the game will change with a likely uptick in mobile usage during the holiday shopping season.

In Q4 2010, we witnessed the impact mobile had on shopping behavior as 59% of smartphone users used their phones while holiday shopping.* Some people used their smartphones to shop on the go, and even more used them to research products while in a retail store.

This trend is looking to continue in 2011; in fact, research indicates that 70% of those using their smartphones for holiday shopping are using them in-store, where purchases are being influenced on the spot.* As such, retailers need to engage consumers in meaningful ways on the mobile channel. Some are leveraging the mobile platform via wishlists and shopping apps, ensuring that consumers buy from them regardless of the purchase channel. Some other good options include making mobile product research and price comparisons easy.

It's not all happening in-store, though. Mobile commerce enabled sites are still a must for consumers seeking instant gratification, or a break from long in-store lines. The key to mobile commerce holiday success is making your site easy to find and even easier to purchase a product. Site loading times should be instantaneous as, “47% of consumers say they expect a page to load within two seconds, and 40% will wait no longer than three seconds before moving on, according to web performance monitoring service Akamai Technologies Inc.”**

As you continue your holiday planning, remember that consumers are connected across multiple devices and have higher expectations than ever before. They are seeking the best deal, want to know what products they can get where and how quickly they can buy them. Ensure that you’re fully covered across smartphones, tablets, and desktop so that consumers can not only discover and engage with your brand but also transact when they’re ready.

Posted by Keri Overman, The Google Retail Team

*Google/OTX Holiday shopping survey, Comscore July 2011, State of economy
**Internet Retailer, “Prepare Today for Online Holiday Sales”, August 18, 2011