By all estimates, the back-to-school season will have pulled in more than $75 billion dollars. It is second only to holiday shopping in the highest grossing retail season. With more consumers shopping via mobile than ever before, where can retailers expect to see the highest sales this holiday; online or in store retail?

Mobile Will Factor Big this Holiday Shopping Season

For retailers, the best of both worlds is seeing high sales figures coming from online retail as well as their brick-and-mortar stores. A recent survey found that the number of consumers considering shopping via mobile app has grown 30% from 2015 to 2016, accounting for 80% of holiday shoppers this year.

Mobile isn’t the only driver for this holiday shopping season. Early bird deals and app promotions are set to attract over 60% of shoppers looking to get a jump on the holidays. A survey by RetailMeNot shows that more than 45% of shoppers surveyed are going to begin searching for deals before the month of October is out.

Shopper Behavior is Key to Targeting Sale Promotions

Last year, holiday sales were lower than anticipated by more than half a percentage point, dropping over 1% from 2014 to 2015. At the same time, online sales grew by 9%. This year, the growth is expected to be even bigger. The difference is, retailers are banking on using mobile app promotions to push both online and brick-and-mortar sales numbers up this year.

In fact, shoppers rarely do one or the other. Even consumers that use the internet to shop frequently many times only comparison shop online before going to the store to buy the product. Meeting customers where they shop and making it easier to shop their way is the key to unlocking both in store and online sales this holiday. Here are holiday shopper behaviors by the numbers:

  • The majority of shoppers (51% — 63%) do not shop on Christmas Eve, Thanksgiving Day, and “Small Business Saturdays” – shopping on these days is done mostly in-store.
  • Cyber Mondays see the lowest number of in-store shoppers (12%) but see the highest number of online shoppers (54%).
  • Black Friday sees an equal number of online shoppers as in-store shoppers.
  • Practically everyone over 18 shops online (94%) with close to 60% buying something online every month at least.  
  • Less than 40% of retailers tie-in their online sales with their in-store promotions.
  • A huge majority of Cyber Monday and Black Friday shoppers are millennials (84% and 85% respectively) and 86% do their holiday shopping via mobile.
  • 64% of shoppers check for deals online or downloadable coupons before they make a purchase with almost 30% checking almost all of the time and 17% checking for discounts online every time they go holiday shopping.

In-Store Promotions will Utilize Mobile Apps

In order to seize both online and physical foot traffic, retailers are coming up with new ways to drive online traffic to their brick-and-mortar stores. While most shoppers (73%) intend to buy their holiday goods at the store, at least half will decide whether to shop online or in-store based on the kinds of deals they can get.

The day after Christmas is still the best in-store retail day across the board. Black Friday has been the traditional day to cash in on clearance and inventory overstock pricing. However, mobile shoppers are looking to snatch up even better deals long before Black Friday.

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