December 05, 2012

Last Minute Shopping

By Hisham Isa, Vice President (Marketing)

Are you a last minute Christmas shopper? You're not alone. In the US, for example, the ten days before Christmas account for nearly a quarter of all retail sales. In India, the “Great Online Shopping Festival” (translation: India's Cyber Monday) will take place on Wednesday 12 December. And in the UK, Christmas shopping is expected to peak the weekend of 22-23 December.

BuzzCity's latest research meanwhile shows that the vast majority of consumers who leave shopping to the eleventh hour are more likely to purchase their gifts via mobile.

What this means for merchants is simple: you still have time to adjust your campaign tactics.

Let's start with a few basic stats from BuzzCity's November 2012 survey:

  • 74% of consumers globally say that if they leave shopping to the last minute, they are more likely to shop on the mobile internet.
  • 70% say they are likely to make a mobile purchase on Christmas Day itself.
  • 55% say that it's very likely or certain they will purchase gifts using a mobile device during this holiday season. 
  • And of these consumers, 48% say they will spend over half of their overall festive budget on purchases via mobile.
Interestingly, most of these consumers will be first-time mobile consumers, well at least when it comes to making a purchase for someone else. Seventy-three percent of respondents tell us that they have not previously purchased gifts via mobile.

Don't underestimate consumers' savviness, though. Thirty-five percent are using their handsets to check prices on search engines. Other price-checking channels include social media, advertisements, friends' recommendations and price comparison sites.

Electronics, entertainment and clothing are the most popular categories of gifts, though there are some regional variations.

By the way, the most common reason cited by consumers who will not be using their phones to go shopping is the lack of a credit or debit card.

Overall, though, it's clear that mobile commerce is making great strides. Our November survey results are the clearest indication to date that consumers not only feel confident shopping on the mobile internet, they are also devoting an increasing part of their budget to mobile purchases.

So if you are an advertiser or marketer, take note: adjust your budgets now to target these end-of-year purchases.

We'll be building on the interim findings from BuzzCity's November 2012 survey with further global insights in January 2013 with the release of our next quarterly report.  You can access all of BuzzCity's reports here.