Mobile phones and gaming apps could be a key way for retailers and brands to connect with shoppers this holiday season, according to a new survey that shows many shoppers plan to use mobile devices to shop and are more likely to respond to mobile ads.
While many other holiday surveys have predicted that many shoppers will return to stores this year, the survey found that many will also be spending time on their phones, using gaming and shopping apps, and are ready to receive marketing pitches there.
While the sponsors of the survey and the authors of the accompanying report, The Modern Mobile Consumer 2022 Holiday Marketing Playbook, clearly have a vested interest in promoting mobile app marketing, the survey results offer some interesting insights into a future where mobile phones and apps, rather than malls, could be the best place to spend holidays to lure impulsive shoppers.
The survey results, based on responses from more than 21,000 mobile app users, were released this week by app business platform IronSource and marketing agency M&C Saatchi Performance.
Nearly two-thirds of consumers said they intend to use their mobile phone or tablet to shop. The survey also found that many users are receptive to mobile ads, especially paid ads on gaming sites.
Almost half – 48% – said that mobile ads that offer the viewer a reward, such as bonus points or an edge on a gaming site or access to content on a news site, influenced their gifting decisions.
Mobile gaming apps are becoming an increasingly important way for brands to reach consumers because of the large number of people using them, said Sarah Chafer, vice president of U.S. ad sales at IronSource.
Mobile games for an hour a day or more
“While many would not describe themselves as typical ‘gamers’, they will play highly casual games that provide short, snackable entertainment that can be continued between other activities or while waiting in line,” Chafer said. “Thus, in-app ads, especially in-game ads, are critical to any retailer’s mobile marketing strategy year-round and especially during the holiday season,” she said.
According to the survey, 70% of respondents plan to play mobile games during the holiday season, and 42% plan to play them for more than an hour a day.
The survey also asked consumers about their holiday spending plans. The majority, 65 percent, said they would spend the same amount or more than last year. About a third – 35 percent. – said they plan to spend more this year.
“While one might think that economic volatility would be a concern for consumers,” the survey found that most are likely to spend more, with most expecting to spend between $250 and $500 on holiday gifts, Chafer said. Gen X consumers are likely to be big spenders this year, with just over 20% of Gen X respondents saying they plan to spend more than $1,000.
However, the results of the survey are skewed in favor of young people. The report shows the spending plans of Z, Millennial and Gen X shoppers, but not Boomers. The big question this holiday season is whether younger shoppers and new ways to shop on apps and phones will drive results, or if older shoppers and traditional retail channels will set the pace.