Consumers will take many routes from research to purchase
While most Americans have already started their holiday research and shopping activities—and about half have made purchases—more than three-quarters still have work to do, according to October data from Google and OTX. And multichannel shopping will be critical in getting them to the finish line.
Growth in ecommerce sales outpaces total retail, but online and in-store experiences contribute to each other in a complex way. A slight majority of internet users surveyed by Google reported that they would research items on the web and make a purchase in a store, more than would research online and buy online. Nearly a third also planned to do their initial research on the internet and check out the item in a store before making their final purchase online.
Mobile is another channel that has become important to the holiday shopping of some consumers but has yet to make inroads for many. Among smartphone users—which Nielsen estimates to be about a third of the US mobile population—a majority told Google they would be using their phone as a price-comparison tool this year. Nearly four in 10 would look for coupons or find a store near them, and less than a quarter would actually purchase a holiday gift via mobile.
Nearly half of smartphone users surveyed by Google also said they were “very” or “extremely likely” to download or use a mobile app for their holiday shopping activities, with another 30% reporting they were “somewhat likely” to do the same.
Retailers should be prepared for mobile’s gain in importance since the 2009 holiday season; increases in smartphone penetration and mobile web access have brought many new shoppers to the channel. But according to September 2010 data from the e-tailing group, 62% of US multichannel retailers did not plan to use any mobile tactics this holiday season, and just 25% would have a mobile site that included a shopping cart.
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Check out today’s other article, “Investing More Time Brings Sophistication to Social Media Efforts.”