More people than ever before will do their Christmas shopping via their mobiles this year and this is largely due to the expansion of 4G which makes mobile web browsing and shopping so much quicker, easier, and more consistent.
According to EE’s Mobile Living Index the popularity of mobile Christmas shopping continues to grow. While 15% of EE’s customers did some Christmas shopping on mobiles in 2012, 39% were planning to buy gifts via mobile in 2013. The consistency and speed of EE’s 4G network, when combined with increasing trust in the security of mobile shopping and the number of retailers now offering mobile optimised sites, has led to an impressive rise in online shopping. EE’s survey revealed that 4G customers were almost three times more likely to do their Christmas shopping on mobile than 3G users.
According to Weve – a mobile marketing joint venture between EE, Telefonica UK (O2) and Vodafone UK – consumers that used mobile for their Christmas shopping last year spent an average of £245 each, which equates to £3.8 billion across the UK. While 88% of consumers that took part in the Weve survey indicated that they used their mobiles as part of the Christmas shopping process, actually ordering gifts wasn’t the only activity. Here are some of the other Christmas shopping activities that mobile users used their devices for:
- 64% used their mobiles to compare prices while shopping in-store, which is known as showrooming
- 50% said they actually purchased gifts using their mobile device
- 70% used the mobile web to browse for gift inspiration for friends and family
- Only 21% said they used a shopping app, indicating that the majority prefer the openness of the mobile web
Almost three quarters (73%) said that the ability to shop via mobile made life easier for them last Christmas. While music, DVDs and games were the most popular items ordered via mobile, the range of gifts purchased in this way was enormous. Gifts bought via mobile included clothing, electrical items, beauty products, books, homeware, and furniture.
Nigel Clarkson, Commercial Director at Weve, said: “The truth is that however big the 2013 mobile spree was, we are only just starting to see the real power of mobile, but the £245 figure surprised us and will give us a benchmark to check the increase in early 2015. One thing is certain: as the industry prepares for Christmas 2014, mobile Christmases are only going to get bigger and more sophisticated.”
In addition to Christmas shopping, mobile devices were used by retailers in numerous other ways last year during the festive period. Reminders were sent to customers when the last date for turkey ordering was approaching, and highly targeted special offers and discounts were delivered to help shoppers find Christmas bargains in their local area. It seems that with the arrival of 4G mobile really has become part of the Christmas shopping experience.