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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : August 25, 2015

Back to School proves the importance of mobile for the holidays

One big trend so far during the back to season: mobile is increasingly important to retail brands and department. Recently Google compared mobile shopping during the 2014 BTS season with 2015 and found about 40% of shoppers used mobile devices (2014) compared with more than 50% this year.

by Kristina Knight

Those shoppers are using mobile devices to research products during 'down time', according to the Google report. Some while watching television, others while on a break from work. Some are doing this research while in-store, comparing prices and store availability.

This trend, suggests one expert, is something retailers need to look to as we move out of the back to school season and into the holiday shopping season.

"Retailers need to understand that for many shoppers (especially younger parents), the smartphone is becoming a go to "in store sales associate" as more and more customers would rather consult their smartphone for help rather than a sales associate," said Kurt Heinemann, Chief Marketing Officer, Reflektion. "Shoppers are going to be comparing more than ever during this budget-crunching back to school time period and they're going to not only pull their phones out to check while they're in an aisle to see what a price difference is for an item while they're in a location, they might actually transact right there on the phone even though they're on the aisle of a different retailer. Back to school will show retailers what to expect from in-store smartphone usage for the holidays."

According to the National Retail Federation holiday 2014 retail sales increased about 4% (YoY), but ecommerce and m:commerce sales increased much more. Couple that with shoppers' increased willingness to use mobile devices for back to school shopping, retailers should begin preparing for an influx of mobile shoppers in the coming months.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: 2015 holiday trends, Back to School, ecommerce trends, Google, m:commerce, mobile commerce, mobile marketing, National Retail Federation, Reflektion

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