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A third of UK consumers plan to do more shopping on mobile this Christmas

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More than a third (35% to be precise) of UK consumers will do more shopping on their smartphones this Christmas than ever before, according to eDigitalResearch and IMRG, as the popularity of shopping and browsing on mobile devices continues to increase.

The latest eCustomerServiceIndex (eCSI) results show that 61% of the 6,000 surveyed will browse more frequently via their phone over the next 12 months, with just under half (49%) of these making a purchase from their smartphone as well.

Derek Eccleston, Research Director at eDigitalResearch explains: “Christmas is by far the most important time for retailers. This year will be one of the first Christmas shopping periods where mobile shopping will be readily available to the majority of consumers. The rapid development in mobile technology and the quick uptake by retailers of mobile sites and retail apps means that more and more brands have the opportunity to connect with potential customers, encourage purchases and increase revenues. As we continue to be gripped by the MEcommerce revolution – where the consumer now holds the power to shop where, when and how they like – it is crucial that retailers have a strong presence across multiple channels in order to maximise the potential rewards that this Christmas has to offer”.

The results also found that more and more consumers will be relying on the internet this year for their Christmas shopping, despite the snow and disrupted deliveries that affected online orders in 2010. 19% of those surveyed will be doing more Christmas shopping online this year. One third (33%) of consumers said that they will be spending at least half of their Christmas budget online, whilst 1 in 4 (25%) will do up to three quarters of their shopping on the internet.

The results also indicate that price will be the main influencing factor for consumers this Christmas period. 46% of people claim that better prices are the main reason encouraging them to shop online rather than through other channels, an increase of 5% on last year’s results. Similarly, almost half (45%) of consumers are somewhat reliant on the internet to stretch their budgets, whilst 17% of shoppers are very reliant.

Over half of those surveyed (54%) will be commencing their shopping earlier this year in an attempt to spread the cost, signalling the importance for retailers to begin implementing their Christmas promotions early enough in time to catch the majority of Christmas shoppers. Almost half (48%) also said that they can often be influenced by a retailer’s deals and promotions, indicating for retailers the importance of understanding key influencers for their customer base.

Andrew McClelland, Chief Operations and Policy Officer at IMRG, comments: “More smartphones are sold than standard mobiles in the UK now and mobile-enabled retailer sites are improving, particularly in terms of usability and display, so it is not surprising to see that confidence in the channel is continuing to grow.

“However, the eCSI results did reveal that 50% of consumers strongly prefer to purchase their groceries in-store, with just 10% strongly preferring to do so online. This is far higher than any other category and reveals that consumers are missing out on potential savings, particularly during the Christmas period as food is a major area of expenditure. Many online supermarkets have mobile-optimised sites in place and 40% of mobile internet users already access it from home. It seems that it will require a behavioural shift, but the benefits of doing your Christmas food shopping from the sofa rather than standing in long queues is clear.”

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