Mobile & Smartphone Holiday Shoppers Will Spend $127 Billion, Says IDC

shoppermobilephone.jpgRetailers with super mobile/social media commerce will have an advantage this holiday shopping season because smartphone users are getting smarter when they shop.  Mobile shoppers search for product prices, information, and see what other stores have in stock while they're in the store shopping.  Mobile shoppers trust their friends' feed for information.

IDC Retail Insights reports that mobile shopping "warriors" (hyper-connected
individuals) and mobile shopping "warrior wannabes" (moderately
connected individuals) will account for 28% or $127 billion of the $447 billion that
the National Retail Federation predicts U.S. consumers will spend this
holiday season.

The findings of the IDC study are similar to the MMA study, which found that 59
percent of mobile consumers plan
to use their mobile phone for holiday
shopping and for planning holiday celebrations.

Other key findings
from the IDC Retail Insights survey include:

  • More
    than one third of smartphone-carrying consumers (who represent 24% of all U.S. consumers)
    are ready to use their mobile devices in ways that transform how they shop
    everywhere and, in particular, how they shop in retail stores.
  • New
    behaviors facilitated by mobility, all of which can take place in stores,
    include searching for price and product information, checking merchandise
    availability, and comparing prices at nearby stores, browsing product reviews,
    and purchasing goods.
  • Consumers using multiple channels sequentially as they move from Web to
    store will give way to concurrent omnichannel behaviors as consumers bring
    their comfortable use of m-commerce with them into the store.  These new
    behaviors will exert pressures that weaken the store's immediate influence on
    purchase decisions "at the shelf."
  • In general, social media doesn't have widespread influence on shopping
    decisions but friends influence one another's shopping behavior on social
    networks and sites that have earned consumer trust will influence this behavior
    as well.

introduces a new consumer shopping model which changes how consumers shop, not simply when
and where they shop, as e-commerce
has already enabled," said Greg Girard Program Director, Retail
Merchandise Strategies
at IDC Retail Insights.  "It is clear that MSM-commerce
already has an influence on consumers' perception of brand value and their
shopping intentions.  We believe the retailers with superior mobile and social
media commerce strategies in place will have a decided advantage."

As revealed in the
survey, mobile shopping warriors and wannabies represent the vanguard for the
new age of m-commerce and, of particular interest, results suggest that the
early maturity adult audience is an important part of this vanguard.  Adults
aged 25 to 44 years comprised nearly two-thirds of the mobile shopping warrior
group while they comprised slightly less than half of consumers surveyed.  In
addition, adults aged 45 to 54 years were the most inclined to use their mobile
information advantage; for example, asking for a better price to match one they
find on their mobile device while in the store.

For retailers, the
impact of mobile shopping warriors will be significant this holiday season as the
survey reveals, across the board, retailers'
m-commerce competence greatly influences consumer perceptions about the brand.  Further,
an easy-to-use mobile website significantly influences consumers, across all
age groups, on where to shop this holiday season.  Results also suggest that
while the influence of social media outlets on buying decisions is growing, retailers
continue to serve as the most important source of information on which
consumers make their final purchase decisions.  As such, retailers who have met
the critical need for consumer-generated Web site content and easy-to-use
product information will have the advantage this holiday season.

"Consumers' increased
comfort with using their smartphones to go online anywhere combined with their
plans to use them more in the 2010 holiday season signals the beginning of a
significant shift away from the capacity of the store channel to hold sway over
consumers as they move to a purchase decision," concluded Girard.

IDC Retail Insights surveyed
more than 1000 U.S. consumers aged 19 years and older in September 2010 to
determine how consumers will use MSM-commerce as they shop during the 2010
holiday season.  The income and demographic profiles of this sample are in line
with the overall profile of the U.S. consumer population.  About 73 percent of
those surveyed are members of Facebook or other social networks and 68 percent
own smartphones.

Survey results will
be available in a new IDC Retail Insights report, Outlook for Mobile and Social Media Commerce
in the 2010 Holiday Shopping Season
, to be published in
early December.

The survey was designed to explore how consumers' growing comfort with mobile
commerce (m-commerce) and social media commerce (sm-commerce) will play out in
the 2010 holiday shopping season.  According to results, m-commerce and
sm-commerce are giving consumers greater advantage as they engage retailers on
their own terms - even inside the store - within arm's reach of merchandise at
the moment of their buying decision.