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Mobile internet access over Christmas reaches all time high

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The number of people accessing the Internet from their smartphone or tablet device on Christmas Day and Boxing Day reached an all-time high in 2012, according to the annual Online Christmas Activity survey from eDigitalResearch and IMRG. 89% of the 2,000 online consumers surveyed went online over the two days with around a third (30%) doing so via their smartphone and another 21% from their tablet device, an increase of 8% and 13% respectively year on year.

The results also found that a record number of consumers were logging on over both Christmas Day and Boxing Day. 65% of consumers said that they accessed the Internet on both days, up from just under 59% last year, proving that the Internet is truly becoming a key part of the festive season.

The results also found that just under half (42%) of consumers browsed the Internet whilst watching television on Christmas Day or Boxing Day, with a quarter (26%) accessing websites from their smartphone and another 19% via their tablet. Whilst the Christmas television schedule remains a key part of the festive season, retailers and brands needs to be aware that consumer behaviour is changing.

Derek Eccleston, Head of Research at eDigitalResearch, says, “The traditional Christmas Day and Boxing Day routines are changing. More and more people this Christmas settled down to watch the television with their smartphone or tablet device to hand. Nowadays when someone sees a product being advertised or something that catches their eye on TV, the first thing they are likely to do is to reach for their Internet enabled device and search for it online. This provides brands and retailers the opportunity to reach people during one of the few traditionally non-shopping days a year and make a genuine and real impact on sales. It is therefore imperative that brands integrate all channels, including their marketing messages, to make sure that everything from their website and mobile app to their TV adverts, are aligned”.

Mobile and tablet devices are also playing an integral role in the run up to the big day. This Christmas, just under half (48%) of smartphone owners did some pre-purchase research from their mobile device, an increase of about 9% on last year. Similarly, around one third (30%) made a Christmas purchase from their mobile.

Just under 1 in 5 smartphone owners (17%) indicated that they were likely to spend more on their smartphone or tablet device in the run up to next Christmas. However, an additional 31% could also be encouraged to do the same as long as retailers do more to ensure that their mobile experience is as quick, easy and seamless as possible. Just 24% of mobile shoppers this Christmas rated their experience as ‘very easy’ indicating that more needs to be done by retailers to improve the mobile shopping journey. However, this is an increase of 6% on last year’s satisfaction rating, suggesting that mobile developments are moving in the right direction.

Andy Mulcahy, Head of Communications at IMRG, adds: “We know from previous research that 80% of consumers use their mobile devices in front of the TV (known as ‘second screening’). This propensity for dual visual engagement is an interesting development, as it essentially makes TV adverts and sponsored programmes retail channels, and uniquely time-sensitive ones at that. A really advanced mobile and social media campaign that pushes products relevant to a sponsored TV programme at the right time could have a positive impact on conversion rates, providing a highly relevant and immersive experience for the consumer.”

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