Consumers Turn to Mobile Tech for Holiday Help

Most consumers enjoy shopping online for holiday presents because searching and shopping online helps them find the right gifts, a new report finds.

mobile and holidays

Consumers are increasingly relying on mobile and other technology to better manage their busy holidays—even allowing them to get more rest, according to a survey of more than 1,000 U.S. consumers by Sequence, a San Francisco-based independent agency.

The survey found that classic holiday traditions continue to be important across generations, while at the same time technology-inspired pastimes are starting to emerge, and revealed that a small group of consumers are embracing the digital holiday experience by using technology to their advantage to manage their tasks and create more time for friends and family.

A third of consumers surveyed said they would sleep instead of meeting friends for drinks, baking cookies and other holiday activities if mobile technology helped save three hours of their time.

In addition, 42 percent of respondents said technology makes it easier to create a gift wish list, while 38 percent of women said they text each other all the time instead of talking on the phone.

"Our survey findings showed that consumers are increasingly relying on mobile technology to better manage the busy holiday season," Jojo Roy, CEO of Sequence, told eWEEK. "They're creating holiday wish lists and finding gifts on their phones to get through their shopping. People are also using mobile technology more and more to stay in touch with friends and family during the holidays, from group texts and video chats."

The survey found that thanks to text messaging and social media, 57 percent of respondents say they are in more contact with their family, and a quarter of respondents say instead of a traditional phone call, they will video chat with their family.

The report also found that 53 percent of consumers enjoy shopping online for holiday presents because searching and shopping online helps them find the right gifts.

When it comes to being on the go, a third of the survey respondents said they would be lost without their smartphone during holiday travels, and 46 percent said they rely on apps like Waze, Google Maps and Apple Maps to guide them to their destination.

"We're starting to see some leading indicators of how a small group of consumers are using mobile technology during the holidays," Roy said. "The key in the future will be how all of this information and features actually work together to provide a more seamless, connected experience for consumers."

Online and mobile device shopping played a critical role in driving shopping traffic during this year's Thanksgiving holiday week among the 125 million Americans who planned to shop throughout the week, according to a report released last month by the Consumer Technology Association.