Mobile’s impact on this year’s holiday shopping

The holiday edition of Google's Shopping Moments survey offers research to reach last-minute shoppers.

Though it’s less than 10 days until Christmas, Canadians, on average, have completed less than half of their holiday shopping. For retailers still looking to reach last-minute shoppers, Google Canada has released a holiday edition of its Shopping Moments survey.

Google, with Ipsos, surveyed 1,554 Canadians between Nov. 17 and Dec. 10 who planned to shop for Christmas gifts about their shopping habits, specifically when it comes to the way they use mobile and online resources.

When it comes to researching gift purchases, one in three Canadians have used their smartphones to do so this holiday season, with shopping-related searches on mobile growing 120% globally compared to last year. Some kind of online search to research a holiday product or service was done by 67% of shoppers, with 72% making a website visit part of their shopping experience.

Google’s report says smartphones are not just being used to make purchases, and describes the way Canadians are using them like a personal shopper. This means doing things like locating products in stores nearby and reading reviews of products, with 60% of people following through on purchases they’ve researched on mobile.

Mobile apps are also becoming a more prominent part of the path to purchase, with 44% of Canadians using them in their holiday shopping.

The traditional “shopping marathon” has been replaced by what the report refers to as “shopping moments” that happen during any time of day as consumers use their devices to research or buy gifts. While in-store shopping peaks between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m., online searches for gifts peak between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m., with 36% of visits to retailer websites happening between 7 p.m. and 3 a.m.

Though much has been made of the importance of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Boxing Day remains a significant retail opportunity. Google’s data shows that searches for all of those events have increased in Canada every year since 2005.

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