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Get Ready for Mobile’s Biggest Holiday Shopping Season Yet

Posted Oct 14, 2020

Halloween hasn’t passed yet, but all eyes are already on holiday shopping. It’s no secret that this year’s holiday season will be very different than years’ past. The global pandemic has prompted most Americans to spend the majority of their time at home, leading to a surge in mobile activity. When it comes to shopping, consumers have chosen the convenience and safety of buying on their phones. The upcoming holiday season is expected to continue the upward trend of mobile shopping.

Retailers are pushing holiday shopping earlier in response to COVID-19 concerns. Major stores like Best Buy, Macy’s, and Target aren’t waiting until Thanksgiving weekend to offer their best deals and instead are starting discount sales in October to prevent crowded stores. With more people expected to shop online, online retailers are also trying to avoid inventory issues or shipping delays. App Annie predicts this will lead to record highs in mobile shopping activity. The analytics firm forecasts that U.S. consumers will spend 1 billion hours shopping on Android devices alone, a 50% increase from Q4 2019. Furthermore, eMarketer expects mobile shopping sales to reach $314 billion in 2020, which is $200 billion more than four years ago and represents over 44% of all e-commerce sales.

We’ve already seen the effects of the pandemic on back to school shopping and now we’re taking a closer look at how mobile shoppers will be preparing for the holidays. AdColony conducted a global Holiday Shopping Survey that reached over 1,500 people. This week, we’re looking at the results specifically from North America, which provides lots of powerful insights that brands and advertisers should pay attention to.

Highlights from the Study

  • Most consumers will be shopping online this year. — Only 8% prefer to shop in-store likely because of the pandemic. While curbside delivery has become more readily accessible, only 6% of respondents chose that option as their preference.
  • Shopping will be mostly online but people still prefer to exchange gifts in-person. — Despite the ongoing pandemic, the majority of holiday shoppers would rather exchange gifts in person than have the gifts delivered directly to the recipients. Only 31% plan to ship presents straight to their loved ones’ homes even if that could be the easiest and safest option.
  • In-app is now the top choice for mobile shopping.  — Almost half (46%) of holiday shoppers chose in-app over a mobile browser.  In previous editions of this survey, the majority had no preference.
  • Having your phone with you in-store is a must — It’s important to most consumers to have their mobile device with them while shopping in-store. What do they use it for? Everything from finding better deals and looking up product reviews, to taking pictures for reference!
  • Clothes, electronics, and gift cards are the most frequently purchased items on mobile devices. — Many consumers are also buying groceries, home goods, and books on their smartphones during the holiday season. The uncertainty of COVID-19 has effected plans for travel, transportation, and events as those ended up at the bottom of the list.

Check out the infographic below for more great insights and click here to download the full report! Don’t forget to click on the infographic to open it full size!

About the Study
The AdColony Holiday Shopping Survey 2020 was distributed globally and garnered over 1500 responses. This report focuses on results specifically from North America, mostly from the United States. The survey asked respondents, aged 14 years old to over 75, twenty-one questions about their shopping behaviors and preferences during the holiday season, and how their mobile device plays a role in the buying process. 

Join the Conversation
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