Mobile’s Effect on Holidays

According to an infographic created by Digitas, and highlighted by Mashable, Mobile shopping was said to double this year on Thanksgiving day.

In fact, the article warns for readers to not “be too surprised if you [caught] one of your relatives shopping on their smartphone during Thanksgiving dinner.” Which, actually, isn’t too far from the truth. One of my family’s traditions is for all the fathers, uncles, and cousins (of legal age, of course) is to visit our local pub after everyone has departed Thanksgiving dinner for the night and observe our thankfulness for the great and mighty Guinness. On our way out I saw someone standing at the corner of the pub away from her friends on her iPad. Low and behold, she had Amazon open, and was taking advantage of early online Black Friday deals.

According to Mashable,

“Twenty-eight percent of those who own a smartphone or tablet plan to shop from their mobile devices on [Thanksgiving]. . . That’s nearly twice the percentage who said they would shop from a mobile device on Thanksgiving in a similar survey conducted last year.”

A wide percentage of this increase can be attributed to students and young adults, amongst whom nearly 40% planned to shop from their homes this holiday season, and said that “they would actually forego going to a Thanksgiving meal if they knew in advance they couldn’t use their phones.”

For these reasons Digitas, the group that managed this research study and creator of the infographic, has dubbed Thanksgiving “Mobile Thursday.” While many households may be frustrated when searching for quality family time, Digitas argues that the shift in mobile use on Thanksgiving poses a “great opportunity for brands.” And, though some may be frustrated, my family seemed to be out of the norm. During our annual family Bunco game there were just as many dice on the table as there were smartphones and tablets.

“With more consumers shopping on their devices, brands are being provided with more mobile moments to address and create impact – even during a time of turkey, football, and family,” said Chia Chen, SVP of Mobile Practice Lead for Digitas.

However, even with the strength in these numbers, there are challenges for brands who want to boost holiday sales through mobile devices. Even with more people than ever planning to shop from their phones on Thanksgiving, the vast majority (76%) of people surveyed still think it’s easier to shop from a computer. If retailers really want to boost mobile commerce, they must first improve the ease of the shopping experience and tablets first, and think about what their consumers are looking for in a mobile experience.

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