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A new survey from Econsultancy highlights the growing importance of mobile for holiday shoppers, with 26% using their phones to compare prices and check reviews when in bricks and mortar stores.

Our Toluna powered Christmas 2012 US Online Shopping Survey asked 1,000 online consumers about their research and purchase behaviour. 

Topics covered include the use of mobile, shipping issues and the further shift to online shopping. 

Here are some key stats from the survey... 

The rise of mobile

As predicted, mobile was an important factor this Christmas season, and will become ever more important in the coming years. If you're a retailer without a mobile strategy, you have 12 months to sort this out...

28% of US consumers used a mobile devices for their Christmas shopping, and this was a 50/50 split between smartphones and tablets, which suggests that retailers need to optimise for both. 

Q: Did you use a mobile or tablet PC (e.g. iPad) for Christmas shopping? (1,000 US respondents)

Showrooming, using a mobile to compare prices when shopping in stores, is becoming more popular as smartphone usage grows.

Our survey found that 26% used their mobiles to compare prices and check reviews when in stores.

Q: Did you use a mobile while shopping in stores to check reviews and prices? (1,000 US respondents)

This represents a challenge for offline retailers, but also an opportunity.

Bricks and mortar retailers should look to enhance the in store shopping experience for these mobile users, and there are a number of ways to do this, including Free wi-fi, providing mobile apps and sites for users to reduce the risk that shoppers will use a competitor's apps for price comparison.

Shipping problems

This remains a problem for retailers as, no matter how great products, prices and the online experience is, most retailers have little control over the shipping process. 

Q: Did your orders arrive when retailers said they would? (1,000 US respondents)

The results here suggest that there is room for improvement as far as shipping is concerned, with up to 17% of consumers receiving orders late, or not at all.

This is an area where retailers risk losing customers and repeat business as, even if shipping issues are the fault of the courier, consumers are likely to blame the website where they ordered goods.

This is a threat for retailers, as they risk losing customers thanks to the poor performance of shipping companies. 

59% of respondents said they would not shop again with a retailer that failed with its shipping promises. 

Q: If a retailer failed to ship goods on time, would you shop with them again? (1,000 US respondents)

Online spending trends

Christmas shopping is moving online more and more, as our survey results show. 80% of respondents carried out at least some of their holiday shopping online, while 47% relied on the internet for half or more of their shopping.

Q: How much of your Christmas shopping was done online this year? (1,000 US respondents)

 

43% increased their online spending for Christmas 2012 compared to the previous year, which underlines the upward trend in online retail. 

Q: Did you do more of your Christmas shopping online compared to Christmas 2011? (1,000 US respondents)

For more stats, you can download the full version of our Christmas Shopping survey. It's free for Bronze members and above. 

Graham Charlton

Published 16 January, 2013 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is the former Editor-in-Chief at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin or Google+

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