Despite shoppers beginning their holiday shopping as early as Prime Day, as well as a desire among retailers to secure early revenue, December remains the critical sales period for finalizing holiday shopping.

It seemed to me that there was no rush as I pondered my Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping. I bought a few things here and there but didn’t feel panicked.

Retailers are well aware of shopper behavior patterns seen from the Digital Commerce 360/Bizrate Insights holiday survey of 1,055 online shoppers. With 82% of shoppers indicating they will finish up holiday shopping in December, even more promotions must be forthcoming, and they certainly have been plentiful thus far.

Despite shoppers beginning their holiday shopping as early as Prime Day, as well as a desire among retailers to secure early revenue, December remains the critical sales period for finalizing holiday shopping. Our team looked at the Top 50 retailers that make up the 2019 Digital Commerce 360 Next 1000 and they did not disappoint when it came to doling out promotions. 66% of those retailers put muscle behind December selling continuing to roll out Cyber-oriented promotions. Retailers took two approaches, either going with the theme of extending Cyber Monday promotions or choosing to make it a week of selling. And no worries, because if you don’t find it this week, they will likely accelerate promotions as the season begins to wind down and the true procrastinators come out in force.

One might surmise that mobile makes finding promotions enticing for both retailers and shoppers. With so many of us constantly checking our mobile devices, we can peruse emails and get a quick sense of what our daily dose of deals just might be. One in four online shoppers indicated that they browsed their email for gift ideas, so I’m in good company.


We asked shoppers about their likelihood to conduct 15 activities on their mobile devices when shopping over the holiday season. Mobile proved to be ideal for saving money as two out of three online shoppers checked for sales and specials. Close behind were the 62% who were on the hunt for coupons.

Mobile devices also helped shoppers to be efficient, ensuring one always got the best price. Whether shopping at home or finding oneself at a physical store, no one wanted to pay more when the best price might just be a click away. Half of shoppers anticipated going to Amazon to check prices while 45% would be checking their competitors, always hoping for the lowest price.

Being in the thick of the holidays means stepping up my mobile research as time gets shorter. For me that includes checking mobile websites and apps. From an apps’ perspective, I certainly will be using Amazon to price shop and replenish when my favorite items are on sale. Nordstrom is more for fun, as I visit to see if there’s anything that might be right for someone on my list.

Mobile also lends itself to browsing, and these devices can zero in on product ratings and reviews to ensure smart choices are being made. 44% of online shoppers surveyed suggested they would be taking advantage of these during the holidays. There were seven items on my list. Knowing that three of the biggest retailers—Amazon, Walmart and Targe—are often competitive, I spent about an hour on my phone trying my luck. I was careful to make sure I had the right model, which is critical when comparison shopping. As it turns out, not all items were available on all sites, and those are denoted with an N/A. In most instances, the difference was less than $1, so remember that having a sense of the price in advance may not warrant spending significant time on the hunt. It’s probably wise to always check Amazon, as was illustrated by the Cuisinart example, which was almost $45 lower than at other retailers. But in this case, it was a daily deal.


From a mobile shopping perspective, it is also interesting to note that 21% of these shoppers will sign up to receive text messages, giving retailers another way to connect with them in the coming year. I signed up for text messages to receive delivery information, but the marketing can certainly be aggressive as retailers hope to grab our attention.

Do these messages drive shoppers to buy? My answer would be only once in a while, but one can certainly not dispute that it keeps the brand top-of-mind.


Mobile, however, is ideally suited for purchases that don’t suggest a need to comparison shop, such as gift cards, always a staple of procrastinators.

I also enjoy using apps for my experiential purchases and almost always time well spent. As 13% of shoppers will be looking beyond products, I’ve already spent sufficient time comparison shopping airfares on the American Airlines app, while visiting Airbnb to see if there an amazing price on a last-minute house for the holidays. Goldstar also is always a win for entertainment deals.

Maybe I’ll be lucky enough to be on the receiving end of one of these experiences as it’s always nice to have something pre-wrapped for 2020.