NPD: More Shoppers Go Mobile During Holiday Season

Mobile devices played a greater role in consumer shopping habits this past holiday season, according to a report from The NPD Group, which noted this growing trend was particularly strong with Millennials.

More than 1-in-5 consumers purchased or browsed for products through a mobile device, NPD said. That figure was double among shoppers 18-34 years old.

“Online shopping continues to grow in importance, and holiday 2015 was a clear example of this, with mobile playing a key role,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst, The NPD Group. “Consumers, especially the younger generations, are demanding a new kind of shopping experience, and retailers need to be prepared in order to be able to capture their attention.”

Mobile devices also played a role for shoppers who couldn’t find what they wanted, NPD said. Nearly one-quarter of holiday shoppers had difficulty finding everything they planned to purchase, and when this happened, 11% searched for those products online via a mobile device.

“Shopping on a mobile device is something consumers can do while still in the store, and something retailers can use to their benefit, rather than letting a potential sale walk,” said Cohen. “Shoppers have access to a broader product assortment online, so they feel like they have more options. This dynamic is more powerful than using heavy promotions to counteract the lack of new products being offered in many industries.”

He added, “In order to drive measurable sales growth and long-term success, retailers need to work harder at finding new ways to engage shoppers, utilizing a cohesive omnichannel and omni-present approach, while also giving consumers the fresh and exciting product offerings they crave.”