Nearly half of the consumers polled in an IDC survey said they will use their smartphones to compare prices while shopping this holiday season. Another 32 percent said they also plan on accessing online reviews from their mobile devices.
In a separate study, Yahoo! found that two-thirds of all mobile users intend to use their devices to influence holiday purchases. Finally, Luth Research determined in an October 2010 survey that 51 percent of consumers are more likely to buy from retailers that have a website optimized for mobile use.
In a holiday shopping season that is expected to generate $447 billion for U.S. retailers, IDC predicted that mobile devices will contribute in some way to an estimated $127 billion of that total. The predicted percentage of shoppers that will actually be making transactions on their smartphones remains low in comparison to those researching and comparing products prior to purchase, but the message for retailers could not be more clear – mobile commerce has arrived.
Retailers that have implemented strategies for mobile and social commerce such as website optimization, mobile apps, SMS advertising, user-generated reviews and comparison shopping sites will have a distinct advantage this holiday season. Others may want to consider realigning their 2011 strategies to better fit the trends taking place in social and mobile shopping.