There has been a near doubling in the number of customers planning to use their mobile devices to shop this Thanksgiving compared to last year.
This comes from a new survey conducted by pollsters Harris Interactive for Digitas. Twenty-eight percent of adults over the age of 18 plan to shop with their mobile gadgets on Thanksgiving Day 2012 compared to just 15 percent in 2011.
Mobile’s not just a channel – it’s a culture shift
Digitas’s mobile lead, Chia Chen, considers the year-on-year doubling of mobile shoppers a clear sign that mobile devices are driving a major behavioral change – a view guaranteed to interest all with a stake in mobile phones advertising. In comments which will bring cheer to mobile advertising agencies far and wide, Chen insists that mobile isn’t simply a channel, it’s driving a cultural change.
He urged stores to get ready for a surge of Thanksgiving Day mobile shoppers, stating, “Make sure that you are absolutely ready as a retailer and a brand to actually interact and engage with consumers via the mobile channel and the mobile devices.”
Why mobile needs new approaches to marketing and commerce
However, mobile advertising and marketing has got some catching up to do. Despite findings from a recent Pew Research poll which showed that 68 percent of adult mobile gadget owners come from households with incomes in excess of $75,000, over three quarters (76 percent) of the Digitas respondents said that desktop devices were easier to shop with.
Chen believes that, as things stand, a physical keyboard makes data entry tasks a lot simpler and real concerns remain about customer security when using mobile devices, especially when it comes to payment information.
But there are also challenges for marketers, according to Chen. He said, “Mobile experiences aren’t just miniaturized versions of your desktop experience…or they shouldn’t be.”
Even so, the Great Thanksgiving Mobile Doubling Phenomena should, Chen believes, provide marketers with an unparalleled chance “to interact with people and influence commerce on the holiday.”
Whether this turns out to be a good thing for retailers, however, remains in the balance. As Chen puts it, “It’s not a good thing if you’re a physical retailer and you don’t happen to have a mobile commerce presence.”
M‑commerce, it appears, is inexorably on the rise.