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Forget sherry and charades, Christmas day is now the UK’s busiest mobile shopping day

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Christmas Day is the busiest day for mobile shopping in the UK, with nearly two thirds (62%) of online purchases made on Christmas Day being carried out using a smartphone.

And on a day that is usually spent opening presents from others, over half (52%) of shoppers in the UK are actually buying items for themselves on their phones.

According to a seasonal study by performance marketing technology company Criteo, as consumers up and down the country visit family and friends for Christmas, the mobile phone becomes the device enabling them to take advantage of retailers’ festive offers with just 28% of shoppers opting to buy on a desktop.

While Black Friday sees the biggest peaks in sales volume (246%), Christmas day sees the mobile phone used more than at any other time of the year with two out of three transactions completed on a smartphone in between unwrapping presents and eating turkey. Top of the selfie shopper’s list on the 25th of December: fashion and luxury items which see a 11% spike in purchases on the big day.

The findings are part of a new UK-wide ICM consumer study exploring the consumer buying behaviour behind the busy Black Friday to Christmas period in the UK and Criteo data from November to December 2015.

The report outlines three key mobile Christmas phenomena:

  • Mega Mondays: Post-Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the first day of the week proves the most popular December shopping day with sales spikes of up to 15% occurring on the Mondays before Christmas. With weekends spent seeing family and friends before the big day, Monday is likely to be the day most are able to start thinking about presents. What’s more, with a host of delivery options, Monday also gives shoppers the most flexibility when it comes to discreet delivery, saving the big surprise for Christmas Day.

  • From browsing to buying, the smartphone sales snowball driven by social media: 73% of consumers say they used mobile devices to actively browse and search mobile sites/apps for ideas and inspiration about gifts during the 2015 holiday season. 43% of shoppers aged 18-24 years old say they spend the most time looking for ideas and inspiration on social media sites. Acting on impulse is also commonplace at this time of year with 30% of consumers saying that they intend to purchase items on their smartphones in spare moments throughout the day in the build-up to the big day.

  • Apps to Santa: With social media and online wish lists enabling Christmas shoppers to compile lists of desires all year round, the humble letter to Santa has evolved for the digital age with 22% of people using apps, online lists or social media as their main Christmas list.

“Today, smartphones sit at the heart of our Christmas shopping activity. From browsing to buying, our devices are a constant and essential part of the way we manage this busy shopping period,” says ‎Gregory Gazagne, EVP EMEA at Criteo. “For retailers, it’s clear that effective mobile marketing is all they should want for Christmas. Even when we think the shopping has ended and the stores have closed on Christmas Day, consumers all over the country are turning back to their phones to take advantage of early deals, avoid the queues and buy things that Santa did not bring.”

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