Europeans set to use mobiles to Christmas shop and party

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Europeans to use mobile phones for Christmas shopping and partying

Two thirds of European consumers expect to use their mobile for their Christmas shopping and organising celebrations this year, exclusive of making phone calls, according to a study by The Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) and research partner, Lightspeed Research.

The duo’s latest Mobile Consumer Briefing surveyed French, German and UK consumers regarding the expected impact of the mobile device this Christmas.

It found a quarter (26%) also plan to use their mobile phone to assist their shopping activities more this year than last Christmas (France 16%, Germany 39% and the UK 23%).

The survey uncovered some of the popular ways mobile phone owners will use their phones for Christmas shopping and planning.

A quarter (25%) intend to use their mobile phones (France 19%, Germany 32% and the UK 24%) to search for gift ideas. More than one in 10 (12%) shoppers plan to use their mobile phone to purchase or pay for gifts (UK 16%, Germany 14% and France 5%), demonstrating an opportunity for marketers to optimise their mobile marketing strategies to guide consumers.

According to researchers, there is a connection between the mobile shopping experience and traditional shopping habits with 52% of those using their phones for Christmas shopping expecting to do so before leaving for stores (France 50%, Germany 50% and the UK 56%), and over a third (39%) planning to use their phones while traveling to stores (France 39%, Germany 39% and the UK 40%). Ten per cent of mobile Christmas shoppers will use their device while in a queue at the checkout (France 3%, Germany 14% and the UK 11%).

The survey highlightedopportunities for brands and retailers to connect with consumers and make mobile part of the in-store experience.

Fifteen per cent of those using their mobile phone as part of Christmas shopping expect to search for the location or directions to a retail outlet (France 6%, Germany 20% and the UK 19%).

Retailers such as Best-Buy and Tesco are among the first to tap into this opportunity, offering the functionality to locate stores and information of products on shelves.

“The findings from the research demonstrate the growing opportunity for European retailers to readdress the mobile channel to target end users,” said Peter Johnson, vice president of market intelligence, MMA, and author of the study. “Consumers are now using their mobiles for a number of shopping related activities which marketers need to be aware of when optimising both their mobile and in-store retail experiences.”

“These findings demonstrate the importance of mobile devices when planning and shopping around the holiday season,” said Ralph Risk, Lightspeed Research marketing director EMEA. “In the same way the internet changed shopping habits 10 years ago, mobile phones are now leading the way for consumers to shop on the move. Marketers, brands and retailers that ignore or underestimate this trend risk missing out on a powerful new marketing opportunity.”