Going mobile for the holidays


As I mentioned in one of my Black Friday blog posts, holiday shopping is increasingly a mobile experience. Recently Google analyzed consumer shopping trends and arrived at the same conclusion. According to an analysis from the Google Commerce blog:

More and more shoppers are reaching for their phones to compare prices, look for store locations and inventory and find deals. In fact, searches for [mobile coupons] were up 90% over last year’s volume and mobile search volume for retail-related searches on Black Friday this year was up 200% over Black Friday last year.

According to our study, 55% of participants said they will use their smartphone’s location features on some or most shopping trips, while 47% will use a smartphone to compare prices and 42% will use their phone to search for the nearest store.

They might not fit in your pocket, but tablets are a rising device for getting some serious shopping done: 47% of study participants said they use their tablets to search for coupons or rebates and 44% use them to make purchases.

And consumers are turning to mobile apps to manage their increasingly complicated lives during the holiday season. My iCrossing colleague Dana Notman shares some examples in a December 5 post on the iCrossing Great Finds blog, “Manage Your Holidays with Mobile Apps.” On a related note, on the Great Finds blog I also provided live coverage of an iCrossing webinar regarding how brands can successfully  plan and implement mobile apps.

The day is coming soon when no one will be blogging about our embrace of mobile shopping and mobile apps for our holiday shopping. Next year we’ll be discussing how tablet devices have turned shopping (and product research) into a more immersive experience occurring well before and after Black Friday, especially as more bellwether brands adopt Google Catalogs for the iPad. Smart brands will react to consumer behavior by focusing on the mobile experience, not just the shopping transaction.