Mobile Breeds New Shopping Opportunity in Days Before Christmas

xAd | 12/17/2013

The growing use of smartphones for shopping-related activities has created a new window of opportunity for retailers to reach extreme last-minute shoppers on the days leading up to Christmas, according to a new report today from xAd.

The trend emerged last year, when retail-related search activity on mobile devices was 24 percent greater on Christmas Eve than on Black Friday. A last-minute spike on mobile could be even higher this year based on how mobile is trending so far this year, and savvy retailers such as Old Navy are pulling out all the stops in the second half of December to meet these shoppers’ needs.

“While we have all witnessed and even suffered from holiday gifting procrastination long before mobile came to be, our smartphones are making it much easier to wait until the last minute to find the perfect gift,” said Monica Ho, vice president of marketing at xAd, New York. “Before even heading out the door, mobile users can search for nearby retailers, their holiday hours of operation, give them a call to check on stock and navigate directly to their door.

“A lot of focus has been on mcommerce and purchase power in device, but we are still seeing significant bricks-and-mortar activity enabled by mobile, and the Mobile Eve phenomenon is a testament to that,” she said.

Last-minute shoppers
Old Navy is a good example of a retailer who is catering its mobile strategy in the second half of December to meet the needs of last-minute shoppers.

When smartphone users visit the retailer’s Web site from their phone, the main image scrolls through several key pieces of information for last minute-shoppers, including a panel that lays out the shipping schedule. It reveals that orders of at least $50 placed by 11:59 pm ET on Dec. 19 will ship for free and arrive on Dec. 24.

Another panel highlights the retailer’s selection of last-minute gifts.

There is also a prominently displayed button for finding a nearby store.

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