Mobile Shopping Will Account for 28 Percent of Holiday Purchases: Survey

By Nathan Eddy  |  Print this article Print

More consumers will be using mobile commerce and social media commerce applications to do their holiday shopping.

IDC Retail Insights announced the results of a survey revealing that mobile shopping "warriors" (hyper-connected individuals) and mobile shopping "warrior wannabes" (moderately connected individuals) will account for 28 percent, or $127 billion, of the $447 billion the National Retail Federation predicts U.S. consumers will spend this holiday season. The survey was designed to explore how consumers' growing comfort with mobile commerce (m-commerce) and social media commerce (sm-commerce) will play out in the 2010 holiday shopping season.

According to results, m-commerce and sm-commerce are giving consumers greater advantage as they engage retailers on their own terms—even inside the store—within arm's reach of merchandise at the moment of their buying decision. As revealed in the survey, mobile shopping warriors and wannabes represent the vanguard for the new age of m-commerce and, of particular interest, results suggest that the early maturity adult audience is an important part of this vanguard.

Adults aged 25 to 44 years made up nearly two-thirds of the mobile shopping warrior group while they made up slightly less than half of consumers surveyed. In addition, adults aged 45 to 54 years were the most inclined to use their mobile information advantage—for example, asking for a better price to match one they find on their mobile device while in the store.

"MSM-commerce introduces a new consumer shopping model which changes how consumers shop, not simply when and where they shop, as e-commerce has already enabled," said Greg Girard, program director of retail merchandise strategies at IDC Retail Insights. "It is clear that MSM-commerce already has an influence on consumers' perception of brand value and their shopping intentions. We believe the retailers with superior mobile and social media commerce strategies in place will have a decided advantage."

The survey also found more than one-third of smartphone-carrying consumers (who represent 24 percent of all U.S. consumers) are ready to use their mobile devices in ways that transform how they shop everywhere and, in particular, how they shop in retail stores. IDC Retail Insights surveyed more than 1,000 U.S. consumers aged 19 years and older in September 2010 to determine how consumers will use MSM-commerce as they shop during the 2010 holiday season.

"Consumers' increased comfort with using their smartphones to go online anywhere combined with their plans to use them more in the 2010 holiday season signals the beginning of a significant shift away from the capacity of the store channel to hold sway over consumers as they move to a purchase decision," Girard concluded.