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What Role Will Mobile Play this Holiday Season?

Mobile Holiday Shopping l Infographic

What Does Growth Look Like?

Holiday retail sales will surpass $1 trillion in the US for the first time ever this year, with mobile driving nearly 25% of the growth.

Indeed, in 2018, holiday season sales across mobile devices will surpass $50 billion for the first time, representing nearly 44% of ecommerce spending.

This week, we're looking at consumers' mobile habits. Each day, we'll feature a different aspect of mobile browsing, shopping and purchasing. Yesterday, we looked at mobile banking. Next up: holiday mcommerce sales.

What's Driving Growth?

A big factor driving mcommerce growth—which isn't limited to the holiday shopping season—is consumers' increased willingness to make a purchase on their smartphones.

"Not only are there more people buying on mobile, but those who are buying are spending more and buying more frequently," said eMarketer forecasting analyst Cindy Liu.

Smartphone conversions and specifically, the purchase of big-ticket items, are also main drivers, as referenced in the Holiday Shopping 2018 report.

"Consumers are increasingly comfortable with higher-ticket purchases on mobile devices,” Ryan Williams, head of client insights for retail, travel and CPG at Comscore, said in the report. "That’s largely because of the bigger screen size and the ability for these retailers to produce mobile-friendly versions of their websites."

Why Mobile and Not Desktop?

Mobile’s contribution to holiday ecommerce (43.8%) is much larger than mobile’s contribution to ecommerce for the entire year (39.6%), meaning holiday ecommerce sales skew slightly more mobile.

"One reason is that many people are traveling over the holidays, so having access to a desktop—and your own desktop—is rare," Liu said. "So people are more likely to shop on their mobile devices when they are out and about."

"What's more, people are more likely to convert on mobile devices in order to jump on last minute holiday deals and promotions," she added. "They may not have the time to wait until they are home in front of a computer to transact."

Because of these behaviors, a failure to provide mobile users with the information they need and a simple checkout process could mean that retailers sacrifice mcommerce sales this holiday season.

"Having a fast, seamless and responsive mobile web and app experience that moves customers from browsing to buying is the key to participating in these gains." said eMarketer principal analyst Andrew Lipsman.

More on Holiday Shopping from eMarketer