Smartphones, Tablets Help Parents With Holiday Shopping: IAB

The survey revealed more than half (55 percent) would be using their mobile device to check the availability of items before they go to the store.

The vast majority (90 percent) of smartphone-owning parents who plan to shop over Black Friday weekend intend to use their mobile devices for assistance while on the search for the perfect gift for their kids, according to a report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and its Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence.

Additionally, a significant number of these parents (44 percent) said they expect that they will actually purchase presents for their children on their smartphones.

The survey also revealed more than half (55 percent) would be using their mobile devices to check the availability of items before they go to the store, half will be powering up their smartphones to track sales at stores and find items that are on sale, and just under half (49 percent) will use it to research gift ideas.

"The usual juggling act of parenthood aside, buying holiday presents for the kids can often be one of the most difficult undertakings of the year," said Anna Bager, vice president and general manager of IAB’s Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence. "It isn’t surprising that a great number of moms and dads expect to use their smartphones to assist them through the trials of Black Friday weekend and the rest of the holiday season. And their dependence upon mobile devices during this high-volume shopping timeframe opens up considerable opportunities for marketers."

Furthermore, nearly two-thirds (61 percent) of smartphone-owning parents who are not expecting to or are unsure if they will be braving Black Friday weekend crowds also anticipate using their smartphones for holiday shopping assistance when it comes to buying for their little ones.

The top reason those parents cited for turning to their smartphones is to check for better prices on specific items while shopping in stores (35 percent).

In the search for the ideal mobile distraction, nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of those parents uncover apps for the kids by browsing app stores for popular, free or inexpensive ones.

However, 41 percent said that they look for children’s apps that are related to big-name toys, movies, television shows and TV networks or those promoted on toy packages.

"Content viewed on mobile screens can inspire the kind of fan base that successfully extends into retail arenas," Joe Laszlo, senior director of the Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence, said in a statement. "These findings illustrate the extent to which parents’ smartphones will be serving as able assistants throughout the hectic holiday shopping season and also spotlight how these mobile devices have become central to keeping their children entertained and engaged year-round."