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Overwhelming Portion of Holiday Shoppers Will Start on One Device and Finish on Another

For several years now, we’ve been hearing about the impact of mobile on holiday shopping. But here’s a fact I’ve never heard before.

85% of shoppers will shop for a gift by starting on one device and finishing on another.

The information comes from the Adweek Google 2012 Digital Holidays survey and it’s all about the birth of the multi-screen holiday shopping season. Take a look at this slice from their delightful infographic:

Crazy stuff. And what’s funny is, I actually do these things but didn’t really think about it. I email myself from my iPad all the time. I did this just yesterday after I found a cool gift idea for my husband. Emailing is an inelegant solution to the problem but it works. A better solution is a direct connection between the tablet (or smartphone) and the computer. For example, I also used the Amazon app on my iPad to add items to my Wish List which my husband will later access from his computer.

Putting items into a shopping cart to re-access later from a different point is also a good solution except for one thing – registering and / or logging in to a website isn’t easy on a mobile device. (Note: in putting together this post, I found out that the iPad can save your passwords and login info, you just have to turn the feature on under Settings: Safari. Oh, if only I’d known this before!)

They also found that many people will juggle multiple screens at the same time, I say, with my iPad sitting right next to my computer monitor. . . .

Hmm, I’m starting to feel very geeky and predictable.

The bad news for online sellers is that 51% of those surveyed said they’ll do their research online but they’ll do their buying at a physical store. I’m surprised by this because traditionally, online prices are better. So you’d think the reverse of this would be true – people check out the goods in person (showrooming) but buy online to get a better price.

80% of shoppers did say that the internet was the most useful source for all their holiday shopping needs, so if you can’t get the sale, at least you can get some ad views and clicks before they get in the car and drive to the mall.

Want to see the whole infographic? AdWeek has it up and Think with Google has it for download.