- Holiday shoppers have a "mobility mindset" that's demonstrated in their growing dependence on smartphones to find and pay for gifts. About one in six (16%) of millennials plan to make more direct mobile purchases this holiday season than last year, compared to 13% of Gen Xers and 7% of baby boomers, according to a survey by Oath, Verizon's advertising and media unit, shared with Mobile Marketer.
- Almost two-thirds (61%) of millennials will use a mobile phone to browse gifts, compared with 50% of Gen Xers and 32% of boomers. In addition, 40% of millennials plan to make a direct purchase with a smartphone, compared with 25% of Gen Xers and 11% of boomers, the survey found.
- The most common uses of a smartphone for shopping are comparing prices (71% of consumers), researching products (69%), communicating with friends and family about gift ideas (61%), checking product reviews (55%) and getting directions to stores (45%). Oath surveyed more than 1,000 U.S. consumers about their holiday shopping plans.
Mobile devices are growing increasingly important for holiday shopping, especially for younger adults who are typically early adopters of smartphones and emerging technology. The survey found that 50% of consumers planned to start shopping in October and November, making those months an essential time to reach shoppers as they make their purchasing decisions ahead of the holidays. During these critical months, just 13% of respondents will shop solely in stores and 19% will only shop online. However, 62% plan to do both, demonstrating the importance of a multichannel marketing approach that can capture consumer attention and ease the shopping journey.
Millennials are the most likely demographic to combine mobile devices with their in-store shopping experience. More than one-fourth (27%) of the group will "click & ship," meaning they'll use a mobile device or desktop to buy a product they first saw in a store. Marketers can adjust their strategy to align with the preferences of this cohort and deploy convenient shopping features that could encourage these younger consumers to complete transactions and make return visits online or in stores. The age group is also most likely to "scan & swap," with 23% saying they buy a product they see in a store from another retailer.
The most common activity among all age groups is "webrooming," or the process of researching a product online to buy later in a store. Forty percent of millennials plan to webroom, compared with 35% of Gen Xers and 33% of boomers, highlighting the importance of rich media experiences on websites and apps in driving traffic to stores. The most popular online sources of information about gifts are search (used by 47% of consumers), email from retailers (27%), products in articles (20%), video ads (16%), display ads (16%) and ads in social media news feeds (15%). Marketers need to include these methods of reaching consumers to drive holiday sales.