Customers are no longer simply swiping their debit cards for purchases – they're typing the necessary data into their phones. The popularity of mobile shopping is surging this holiday season, especially among the younger generation. The 2015 Annual Holiday Shopping Survey released by Wanderful Media found that 92 percent of millennials are completing their holiday shopping via smartphone, tablet or other mobile device. These findings could prove encouraging for businesses looking to see a boost in sales during the gift-giving season.

Shopping apps
The survey found that most popular uses of mobile devices were to compare prices and find store locations; however, a large number of respondents said they would consider using mobile applications to make direct purchases. Four out of 5 participants showed an interest in receiving app-created notifications on deals and sales. This finding supports a decision by Apple to create an easily accessible Shopping category within its iOS App Store.

Certain applications that were previously found in the the store's Lifestyle section (coupon services such as RetailMeNot, as well as store and bank apps) will now be transferred to Shopping. In addition to providing a central source for those who love to shop on their phones, the company intends to support and improve the promotion of lesser-known e-commerce applications. Technology news site TechCruch expects that creating a Shopping category will also have the benefit of streamlining the catchall Lifestyle section.

Within the Shopping section will be a category specifically for apps that support Apple Pay, providing easier access for iOS users who prefer that feature. 

Vary consumer appeal
While mobile shopping is expected to be strong this season, these findings do not negate the necessity of appealing to all holiday customers. Among the majority surveyed by Wanderful Media, newspaper circulars were still the primary source of finding holiday deals, though their popularity diminished significantly as far as younger people were concerned. Direct emails from individual stores were also popular among all participants, possibly due to the fact that emails are viewable on phones, tablets and desktop computers. 

If your business does not offer purchasing via a mobile device, consider investing in a mobile website or shopping app. This allows your customer access to your product 24/7, and adding features such as customer support increases your businesses's visibility. Even if your business is small, keeping access to it in the pockets of consumers can be a fantastic investment.

Adding a mobile app or site should be a core element of your multichannel marketing strategy. Multichannel marketing prioritizes the consumer's choice, and consumers are increasingly choosing to make purchases on their smartphones. By offering a wide selection of payment solutions, your business is guaranteed to cast the biggest net and catch a customer no matter his or her payment preference. 

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