Holiday Shopping More Mobile Than Ever - eMarketer
« Return to Mobile Website

Newsletters Sign-Up

Plans & Pricing

Does My Company Subscribe?

Holiday Shopping More Mobile Than Ever

Consumers want in-store mobile offers

December 31, 2012

Holiday shoppers were more likely than ever this year to whip out their smartphones for some mobile assistance, according to research.

When a GfK Roper poll conducted for agency SapientNitro asked smartphone owners how they used their devices for holiday shopping, higher percentages said yes to every activity queried than did so last year.

More than eight in 10 smartphone owners researched and browsed for products on their phone, up 15 percentage points from 2011, and nearly three-quarters bought something via mobile, up 19 percentage points.

Ways that US Smartphone Owners Have Used Their Devices While Holiday Shopping, 2011 & 2012 (% of respondents)

These increases also come as smartphone ownership overall has increased. eMarketer estimates that nearly 116 million US consumers had a smartphone in 2012, vs. 93.1 million in 2011. So higher percentages of smartphone owners doing any given activity are amplified by the fact that the overall base of smartphone owners is larger as well.

Motorola Solutions also queried holiday shoppers about their mobile habits this December, specifically about what they were doing in-store. Age played a major role in shoppers’ likelihood of participating in every mobile shopping activity, with millennials leading the way. Nearly two-thirds of 18- to 34-year-olds reported using their mobile phone for shopping this holiday season, and almost half said this made their phone a faster resource for accessing information than asking a store associate.

Effects of In-Store Retail Technologies on Their Holiday Shopping Experiences According to Shoppers in North America, by Generation, Dec 2012 (% of respondents)

As ever more consumers adopt smartphones, holiday shopping is likely to get only more mobile. The SapientNitro/GfK Roper survey asked all consumers, not just smartphone owners, how retailers could make the in-store shopping experience better for next year’s holiday season. More than half wanted exclusive offers delivered in-store to mobile devices. Among smartphone owners, in-store navigation on their phones and mobile payments were also popular.

Corporate subscribers have access to all eMarketer analyst reports, articles, data and more. Join the over 750 companies already benefiting from eMarketer’s approach. Learn more.

Check out today’s other articles, “For TV Streaming, Smart TVs Take Center Stage” and “Japan to Lose Ad Spend Edge to China in 2014.”


  • Go beyond the articles:

    eMarketer Products

    You've never experienced research like this.

  • Hear from our clients:

    Customer Stories

    Nearly all Fortune 500 companies rely on us.

  • Want to learn more?

    Contact Us

    Inquire about corporate subscriptions today.