Why is smartphone shopping taking off?
While still a cumbersome experience in many ways, browsing and buying on smartphones is gaining huge traction this holiday season, according to many reports.
As an online browsing tool, mobile for the first time exceeded desktop shopping visits on Thanksgiving at 57 percent, driven by increased use of smartphones at 43 percent, while tablets were at 14 percent, according to Adobe. On Black Friday, mobile devices drove 53 percent of online shopping visits (40 percent smartphones, 13 percent tablets).
For Cyber Monday, IBM found smartphones accounted for 44 percent of all online traffic, more than three times that of tablets at 14.1 percent.
As a buying tool, Adobe found smartphones generated a record 22 percent share of all online sales, 70 percent more than in 2014. Tablets drove 15 percent of online sales on Black Friday, a two percent decrease year-over-year. For Cyber Monday, IBM found smartphones drove 15.2 percent of online sales, up nearly 70 percent over 2014 and exceeding tablets at 12.4 percent.
The expansion in smartphone use comes with the growth in online shopping overall. But smartphone shopping is particularly benefiting from the arrival of larger screens that make browsing and shopping easier while also diluting the main benefit of using a tablet.
Further optimized mobile websites, enhanced apps, e-coupons, easier payment options and other steps are also enhancing the smartphone browsing and purchasing experience.
"It’s a pretty big shift in consumer behavior," Jay Henderson, IBM’s marketing cloud director, told Bloomberg. "Retailers are making it easier for people to shop on their smartphones, the devices are bigger and consumers are getting more comfortable purchasing on small devices."
Not that smartphone shopping is effortless.
A survey from Eptica, the UK-based customer interaction software company, of 1,000 American shoppers on Nov. 30, for instance, found that 23 percent had made a smartphone purchase from the website of a retailer they shopped so far during the holiday shopping season. Yet 49 percent of those indicated they were dissatisfied with the smartphone shopping experience and only 21 percent admitting to be satisfied.
The convenience of smartphones, particularly device mobility, is offsetting the slow download speeds, hard-to-navigate mobile websites, security concerns and other issues. Forrester analyst Sucharita Mulpuru, told The Associated Press that shoppers "appear to have greater tolerance for imperfection, much like in the early days of desktop."
- Adobe Data Shows Top Sellers on Black Friday: Samsung TVs, iPad Air 2, Microsoft XBox, Lego Star Wars, Shopkin Dolls – Adobe/Business Wire
- IBM’s Watson Predicts Cyber Monday’s Top Products and Trends – IBM
- Apple Reshapes Holiday Shopping With Bigger Smartphones – Bloomberg
- Smartphones overtake desktops for holiday shopping – The Associated Press/The Denver Post
- U.S. consumers unhappy with Holiday retail customer experience in store and online – Eptica
- How Good Is 2015 Holiday Customer Service In Retail? – Eptica
Do you also see smartphone browsing and buying shifting into higher gear this holiday season? If so, what’s driving the surge in smartphone use for shopping? How do you think the industry will respond?