Shoppers turning to their mobiles this Christmas

One in three UK consumers plans to do more shopping on their smartphones this Christmas, highlighting the need for retailers to ensure their online strategies are in order.

35% of shoppers polled for the latest eCustomerServiceIndex (eCSI) said they would increase the amount of buying they do through their mobile devices for the festive season.

The research reinforces the growing trend for shopping and browsing on mobile devices. 61% of the 6,000 people surveyed also said they planned to browse more frequently via their handset over the next 12 months, with just under half (49%) making a purchase from their smartphone as well.

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Derek Eccleston, research director at eDigitalResearch, which works with the IMRG to produce the index, said this year will be one of the first Christmas shopping periods where mobile shopping will be readily available to the majority of consumers.

“The rapid development in mobile technology and the quick uptake by retailers of mobile sites and retail apps means that more and more brands have the opportunity to connect with potential customers, encourage purchases and increase revenues,” he said.

“As we continue to be gripped by the MEcommerce revolution — where the consumer now holds the power to shop where, when and how they like — it is crucial that retailers have a strong presence across multiple channels in order to maximise the potential rewards that this Christmas has to offer,” he added.

The results also found that increasing numbers of consumers will be relying on the internet this year for their Christmas shopping, despite the snow and disrupted deliveries that affected online orders in 2010.

19% of those surveyed indicated that they intend to do more Christmas shopping online this year. One third (33%) of consumers expect to spend at least half of their Christmas budget online, while a quarter plan to do up to three quarters of their shopping on the internet.

Over half of those surveyed revealed they intend to commence their shopping earlier this year in an attempt to spread the cost, signalling the importance for retailers to begin implementing their seasonal promotions early enough in time to catch the majority of Christmas shoppers.

Almost half (48%) also said that they can often be influenced by a retailer’s deals and promotions, indicating the importance of retailers understanding key influencers for their customer base.

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