In early October 2013, Burst Media surveyed 993 U.S. online adults aged 18 or older about how and when they plan to shop for the holidays. In a year where Hanukkah starts before Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday falls in December for the first time since 2008, the respondents to the survey are ready to hit the malls and shop online—and they will use their mobile devices to shop in a variety of ways.
Time is on marketers’ sides. Among all respondents, a plurality (40.0%) plans to start holiday shopping after Thanksgiving—only 14.3% say they had already started at the time of the survey, and 11.8% planned to start after Halloween.
Mobile devices are increasingly used for shopping. Overall, 45.7% of respondents use smartphones and 41.3% use tablets to go online and shop for holiday products and gifts—far outpacing year-over-year usage as found in the Online Insights 2012 holiday season study.
Mobile shopping apps will play a big role this season. Among respondents who use a smartphone or tablet to shop, more than one-half (54.6%) of women and 2-in-5 (41.9%) men use mobile shopping apps at least somewhat frequently.
Mobile devices aid with shopping in retail locations. Overall, 2-in-5 (40.3%) respondents use a mobile device inside physical retail locations to aid in a variety shopping activities.
Parents of minors use mobile devices in brick-and-mortar stores to comparison shop. Nearly 2-in-3 moms (64.5%) who use mobile devices at a retail location research and compare store prices on their gadgets—as do 63.2% of dads.
Shoppers go digital to avoid shopping stress and for convenience. Overall, one-quarter (25.1%) of shoppers say their favorite aspect about shopping online (or with apps) is that it’s a relaxed shopping experience—though there are differences between men and women.