New data from Harris Interactive finds that 28 percent of tablet and smartphone owners plan to use their devices to shop for stuff on Thanksgiving Day, doubling last year’s figure. Forty percent of users between the ages of 18 and 34 said they’ll use their gadgets to help with Thanksgiving preparations, and 22 percent of students saying they’d be more likely to decline a Thanksgiving invitation if they knew they wouldn’t be able to use their mobile devices.
The survey was commissioned by Digitas, an integrated advertising agency that obviously has an interest in seeing mobile data usage continue to ramp up — so this is worth taking with a grain of salt. But I was particularly interested to see that 76 percent of respondents said that it’s easier to shop from a computer than from a mobile device. That should be a shot across the bow for the retail industry, which has largely failed to leverage the mobile revolution.
While I’m not proposing every retailer develop mobile apps — that’s a costly proposition that addresses only certain segments of the consumer market — retailers should at least be maintaining websites that enable customers to easily find what they’re looking for and even make purchases on their phones. Retailers who fail to do that — and there are plenty of them — will leave a lot of money on the table over the next few weeks.