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New research from bss digital reveals that changes in consumer purchasing behaviour this Christmas will impact retailers who do not have mobile enabled websites. 9%(approximately 1 in 10 shoppers) who used a PC to do their Christmas shopping last year will use their smartphones in 2012. With 33 million smartphones and tablet computers in the UK, for retailers who are already working on tighter and tighter margins, this 9% could be the difference between a Happy Christmas and a miserable one.

Retailers whose target customers are between 18 – 34 years could stand to lose the most. The survey found that 1 in 5 consumers in this age range will turn away from their PC this year in favour of smartphones to buy Christmas gifts. The independent survey which reveals how people shop online for Christmas was conducted by Opinium in November 2012.

Regional data revealed that London sees the highest number of people, 1 in 6 (16%), turning away from their PC in favour of a smartphone to do their Christmas shopping. Wales came up top with 93% of people favouring their smartphone or PC to do their Christmas shopping. Interestingly, people in the North West of England are one of the least likely (1 in 5) to buy anything on the internet, whilst nearly 1 in 5 consumers in Scotland and the South of England plan to use both a PC and a smartphone to do their Christmas shopping.

James Southgate, Client Services Director at bss digital says: “Our survey found that nearly 10 million people use a smartphone or tablet computer to do their Christmas shopping. In today’s tough commercial climate, what company can afford to miss out on even a fraction of that business? But that’s exactly what some businesses are doing by not having websites which are mobile friendly. If a website is not compatible on a handset, a competitor is just a click away.

A Responsive Web design will meet the needs of all your customers in both the short and long term. Responsive Design means that a site’s layout will adjust according to screen size, giving a consistent look and feel no matter what device a customer uses to access it. And, if you think an app is right for your business, make sure it’s what your customers want. All too often apps fall woefully short of the customer’s expectations.”
Regional summary:

London
- 1 in 6 Londoners (16%) who used their PCs last year to do their Christmas shopping intend to use their smartphones – The highest across the UK
- 63% only use a PC for Christmas shopping online
- Nearly 1 in 4 Londoners (24%) use smartphones for their shopping

Scotland
- 87% of Scottish consumers say they do Christmas shopping online
- 65% of Scottish consumers only use a PC for their Christmas shopping
- Just over 1 in 5 consumers (22%) use smartphones for their Christmas shopping

South East England
- 89% of consumers in the South East say they do Christmas shopping online
- 70% of consumers only use their PC for their Christmas shopping.
- Almost 1 in 5 consumers (19%) use a smartphone for their Christmas shopping

South West England
- 88% of consumers in the South West say they do Christmas shopping online
- 68% of consumers only use their PC for their Christmas shopping.
- 1 in 5 consumers (20%) use a smartphone for their Christmas shopping

Wales
- 93% of Welsh consumers say they do Christmas shopping online
- 1 in 10 Welsh consumers who used their PCs last year to do their Christmas shopping intend to use their smartphones
- Almost 1 in 5 consumers (18%) use a smartphone for their Christmas shopping

ENDS

About the survey: Opinium Research carried out an online survey of 2,012 UK adults aged 18+ from 9th to 12th of November 2012. Results have been weighted to nationally representative criteria.

*Nearly 10 million people who will use a smartphone or table computer to do their Christmas shopping was derived from: 19.6% (people that either only use smartphones or use smartphones and PCs) x 49,969,000 (UK adult population) = 9,810,017

More information: http://www.bssdigital.org

Published on: 3:43PM on 3rd December 2012