Santa’s going to have lots of digital competition this year.
The average consumer plans to conduct about 46 percent of his holiday shopping, including browsing and buying, online this year, according to a survey of more than 7,000 people by the National Retail Federation. That’s an increase from 44.4 percent last year.
And 21.4 percent of smartphone owners said they would use their devices to purchase holiday merchandise, the highest since NRF first asked the question in 2011.
The NRF survey showed that tablet owners plan to be just as active on mobile as their smartphone counterparts. Nearly half, or 47.5 percent, said they will use their devices to research products and 34.5 percent will use their tablets to make a holiday purchase of some kind.
The study found that 46.7 percent of respondents said free shipping and shipping promotions were important factors in their decision on where to shop. The average planned spending per person is expected to rise to $805.65 this year, compared with $802.45 a year ago.
The NRF findings are similar to the ones also noted at a HookLogic presentation on Monday at the Gramercy Tavern in Manhattan.
Jonathan Opdyke, chief executive officer and cofounder of HookLogic, said, “This holiday, there will be more mobile and cross-channel shopping than ever before. This year should surpass 50 percent, compared to a year ago when 40 percent of the shopping was on a mobile device.”
As for desktop sales, Opdyke said sales are still growing on laptops and desktops. “The desktop traffic hasn’t dropped off, but [what is happening is that] mobile has grown. There are more smartphone users now.”
Google has also been digging into digital commerce and found that the shopping day phenomenon could be on the wane.
From analyzing Google data and looking at results from an annual survey with Ipsos MediaCT, researchers discovered an increase in the prevalence of what the search giant referred to as “shopping moments.”
The findings also stated that although the research during the holiday shopping season starts earlier (61 percent will start researching before Thanksgiving Day weekend), purchases might happen later, thanks in part to the convenience of digital shopping.
As many as 54 percent of holiday shoppers stated that they plan to shop on their smartphones in spare moments like walking or commuting, but although marathon shopping days like Black Friday or Cyber Monday might be declining in popularity, one day — Sunday — stood out. On Sundays, mobile shopping searches are 18 percent higher than any other day of the week.
Shopping on a mobile device includes inspiration, research and purchase, and it’s a trend that is on the rise. According to Google, shopping-related mobile searches alone have grown 120 percent in the past year — but they still haven’t overtaken the number of desktop searches. Although 30 percent of online shopping purchases happen on mobile phones, shoppers spend 7 percent less time in each mobile session, indicating more efficient shopping.