WASHINGTON – More than half of all smartphone
owners will use their devices to research and purchase
gift items this holiday season, a new survey shows.
The poll, conducted by the National Retail Federation
(NRF) and BIGresearch, also found
that CE is the third most wished for
holiday gift by all consumers, behind
only gift cards and apparel.
Among smartphone owners, nearly
one-third (31 percent) will research
products and/or compare prices,
14.1 percent will purchase products,
17.3 percent will redeem coupons,
and 15.6 percent will use apps to research
or purchase items this holiday
One-quarter (25.1 percent) of
smartphone owners said they will
also use their handsets to look up
information about brick-and-mortar
stores such as hours and location.
Tablet owners are even more likely
to use their device to aid in their holiday
shopping, the survey showed,
with seven in 10 planning to research
and shop using their devices. Half
(50.8 percent) will research products
and/or compare prices, and
more than one-third (34.8 percent)
will make a purchase with their tablet.
Tablet owners will also redeem coupons
(21.5 percent), look up storefront
information (33.8 percent), and
use apps to research items or purchase
products (21 percent).
When it comes to mobile shopping, young adults
present the biggest opportunity for retailers, NRF advised.
According to the survey, 72.2 percent of Americans
aged 18 to 24 are likely to use their smartphones,
and 86.4 percent will use their tablets to shop for holiday
items this year.
Men are also considerably more likely than women to
use mobile devices to shop for gifts. Two in 10 men (17.6
percent) and 10.8 percent of women who own smartphones
plan to purchase products, while among tablet
owners, 38.5 percent of men (or four in 10), and 31.3 percent
of women will make purchases this holiday season.
Meanwhile, the percentage of shoppers who plan
to seek out holiday deals on the Internet has grown to
46.7 percent, from 43.9 percent last year. Additionally,
the average holiday shopper plans to do 36 percent of
his shopping online, including product research, price
comparisons and actual purchases.
Online shoppers plan to spend more as well — the
average person who will shop online this holiday season
will spend about 22 percent more than those
consumers who only plan to shop in physical stores.
Adults aged 25 to 34, many of whom
have small children and crave convenience,
will complete 43.7 percent of
their holiday shopping online, the most
of any age group, the poll shows.
Among other findings of the holiday
• A record 57.7 percent of consumers
said they would like to receive gift
cards this holiday, topping apparel (50
percent), CE (35.4 percent) and jewelry
• Shoppers plan to shell out an average
of $704.18 on holiday gifts and
seasonal merchandise, down slightly
from last year’s $718.98.
• NRF is still forecasting overall holiday
retail sales to grow 2.8 percent
during the months of November and
December, to $465.6 billion.
The survey also showed that nearly
six in 10 holiday shoppers (59.9 percent)
plan to take advantage of retailers’
sales and discounts to make
additional non-gift purchases for
themselves and their families during
the holiday season. The average person
will spend approximately $130.43
during the holiday season to take advantage
of sales and discounts on apparel,
CE, home goods and other items for themselves
or a family member, up from $112.20 last year.
Finally, when asked which one factor will be most
important when shopping this holiday season, sales or
price discounts largely win out (41.6 percent), but customer
service (6 percent vs. 5.3 percent in 2010) and
quality of merchandise (14.6 percent vs. 12.7 percent
in 2010) are continuing to become more vital components
in consumers’ decision making processes.
“Knowing their customers are more focused than
ever on value, retailers will entice shoppers with promotions
that go beyond discounts, whether they’re
promoting free gifts with purchase, an extended warranty
or stellar customer service.” said NRF president/
CEO Matthew Shay.
The NRF “2011 Holiday Consumer Intentions and
Actions Survey” was conducted Oct. 4-11. BIGresearch
polled 8,585 consumers for the survey.