How Did Consumers Shop This Holiday Season? New Trends Revealed

January 04, 2013

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How did consumers shop this holiday season

Gone are the days when shopping centers and malls are packed by throngs of holiday shoppers. That’s because a growing number of people today are doing their shopping online – using their mobile devices.

According to a study by agency SapientNitro (conducted in partnership with GfK Roper), holiday shoppers are increasingly being empowered by mobile Internet. Smartphone users, in particular, are responsible for making holiday shopping more mobile than ever.

In what ways, exactly? Read on to find out the highlights of the study:

  • An incredible 82 percent of US smartphone owners researched and browsed for products using their devices (compared to only 67 percent during the 2011 holiday season).
  • Nearly three out of four – 74 percent to be exact went on to buy something after using their smartphones for some form of product research and local business review monitoring.
  • Thanks to the growing emphasis on location-based technologies and features, more smartphone owners (56 percent) used their GPS/location feature on their devices to help with their holiday shopping.
  • Even use of mobile coupons is on the rise. The study found that 27 percent of smartphone owners used a mobile coupon while shopping. Meanwhile, 33 percent used a Black Friday or Cyber Monday mobile app to get the best online deals.
  • 62 percent consulted an online reviews aggregator or consumer rating site to help them make a purchase decision (compared to 45 percent the previous year).This demonstrates once again the increasing impact of social media, online reviews, and user-generated content.

According to research firm eMarketer, overall smartphone ownership has also significantly increased, from 93.1 million owners in 2011 to approximately 116 million owners in 2012 in the US alone. Read a recent article covering the results of SapientNitro’s study: “As ever more consumers adopt smartphones, holiday shopping is likely to get only more mobile.”

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