Get your phones and tablets out. Shopping by mobile is in. Surpassing desktop shopping this Thanksgiving, mobile shopping has firmly established its place in the retail world.
As this holiday season kicks into gear, here are five reasons you should consider opting for mobile to grab those bargains:
1. You Can Be Anywhere
It doesn’t matter where you are – as long as you can hold a phone or tablet in your hand, you can shop. Mobile shopping opens the possibility for making purchases as you take the bus to work, stand in line at the grocery store or even take a bath.
In theory, laptops offer a similar flexibility, but when it comes to everyday life, the weight and size of a computer makes it an impractical choice to accompany you on your daily tasks. Furthermore, a laptop requires a reliable Internet connection. Unless you purchase a USB-based Internet plan from a mobile provider, you’re going to find it difficult to log on when you’re at the gym.
Plus, public Wi-Fi networks don’t offer the security needed for safe financial transactions. Most phones, on the other hand, come with a data plan that lets you surf the Internet even where there are no Wi-Fi options in sight. You’ll also get the security of a private network, a benefit you won’t have if you log onto your laptop at your local Starbucks.
2. You Can Have Privacy
Your pocket-size screen may not be perfect for watching feature films, but it’s a great strategy to keep others from seeing what you’re up to. A number of mobile shoppers cite privacy as the main reason for choosing their phone, according to an Apigee survey in 2012.
Whether you’re hiding a new present from your spouse or don’t want your tech-savvy kids to track your browsing habits, shopping on your phone can be the perfect solution. It’s also popular among employees who would rather their bosses and colleagues not see the extent of their multitasking skills but do want to get in some purchases during work hours.
3. You’re Not Alone
Since the term mobile commerce was coined in 1997, the popularity of mobile shopping has skyrocketed. This year, a record-high 19.1% of smartphone owners are expected to make mobile purchases this season, according to the National Retail Federation. That number is set only to grow, as retailers respond to the demand for mobile shopping, meaning you’ll be in good company.
4. You Can Be More Productive
Mobile shop while store shopping? Nearly half of 25- to 34-year-olds use their phone to shop online while standing in line at a store, according to recent statistics from Google. The versatility of mobile lets you double up on your shopping, fitting more purchases into your busy schedule and leaving you more time to spend your vacation away from the stores.
5. You Can Leave Your Wallet at Home
When you shop by mobile, there’s no need for a wallet. The emergence of digital payment services Google Wallet and Apple Pay have facilitated the process of mobile shopping, letting consumers rely on financial information stored within their “digital wallet” to make purchases rather than enter their credit, debit or gift card information directly. This streamlined method offers added security and a headache-free process.
Although you’ll find use of these mobile payment systems at some brick-and-mortar stores as well, mobile shopping is where digital wallets reign supreme.
Written by Melinda Szell
Tablet and gift image via Shutterstock