Smartphones will be retailers’ friend this holiday season, according to Deloitte’s annual survey of spending intentions and trends.
Half of consumers surveyed own smartphones and nearly seven-in-10 plan to use them for holiday shopping this year, according to the online survey on 5,089 consumers conducted during the 10-day period that began Sept. 14. These shoppers will primarily use their devices to get store locations (62%), check and compare prices (58%) and obtain product information (50%). These consumers are expected to shell out 72% more than those who do not plan to use smartphones, spending a total $1,428 on the holidays across categories including gifts, entertaining at home, socializing away from home, non-gift clothing, home/holiday furnishings and other holiday spending.
"Deloitte's research into smartphones' influence on in-store sales indicates that the conversion rate for shoppers who use a retailer's dedicated mobile application is 21% higher than those who do not," Alison Paul, vice chairman, Deloitte LLP, and retail & distribution sector leader. "This holiday season, branded applications, Wi-Fi connectivity and personalized, location-based promotions from retailers can enable shoppers to make an immediate buying decision in the store."
This year, Deloitte anticipates that in-store sales influenced by consumers' smartphone use will account for $36 billion, or 5.1% of total holiday retail store sales.
Among the other findings:
"The store continues to be central to holiday shopping, but its role and that of the store associate is evolving as the physical and virtual shopping experiences merge," Paul said. "Associates should be more informed and empowered than in the past; they should have the ability to make price-matching decisions on the spot, and be well-versed on promotions and products that customers are viewing via the retailer's mobile and online channels."