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Mobile Technology Continues to Disrupt Traditional Holiday Shopping

Historically, retailers have seen more foot traffic during the holiday shopping season than any other time of year. Yet like many other industries, the mobile movement is causing disruption to the traditional in-store experience.

From this year’s Holiday Consumer Insights Studies, we discovered consumer intentions and actual behaviors don’t always match up. TrendSource surveyed over 4,000 respondents on their holiday shopping intentions in our Pre-Holiday Intentions Survey. Following the holiday, 1,000 of the same respondents were surveyed on their actual purchasing behaviors in our 2015 Post-Holiday Survey.

The Shopping Experience is in The Hands of the Consumer

While the majority of respondents intended to (and actually did) use their desktop for their holiday shopping, all respondents used their mobile devices more than they anticipated. Not surprisingly, out of all the respondents using a hand-held device, Millennials were the largest group to purchase their holiday gifts via mobile device (32%) and Gen Xer’s opted to use a tablet for their holiday shopping.


Retailer Apps vs. Third-Party Apps

Mobile technology has introduced so many options for consumers to make their purchases. So, where are they ultimately pressing the “confirm purchase” button? Results showed that of the respondents using a mobile app to make purchases (33%), the majority chose to use third-party apps instead of specific retailer apps. Respondents indicated they would most likely use a third-party app for purchases (59%), and in actuality, they stuck to their intentions —even higher than anticipated (70%). Notably, 41% of respondents expected to use a retailer app for holiday purchases, however, only 30% followed through.

Steps to Purchase: Online or In-Store?

Originally 64% of respondents planned to shop both online and in-store, however following the holiday, only 45% of respondents followed through with their plans. Further, 19% of respondents intended to shop online, when in actuality, 32% purchased their holiday gifts online. Based on the fact that mobile device usage was higher than anticipated for all groups, it’s no surprise that the path to purchase intentions did not meet actual shopping behaviors. In all gift categories, consumers ended up reviewing and buying online more than they anticipated. Of all the gift categories, electronics had the biggest discrepancy between intent (29%) and actual behavior (46%) to review online and buy online.

These consumer reports provide retailers with actionable insights into the holiday season consumer. For more detailed results, download the full study here.

Download 2015 Post-Holiday Consumer Insights Study

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