Whether Mobile Shoppers Are Fickle or Smart, Holiday Retailers Need to Deal With Their Elusive Ways

76% change their minds

Holiday shoppers can be pretty fickle, according to Google's retail-based study being released today. Fickle to the point that 76 percent of shoppers change their mind about which brand to purchase thanks to a Google mobile search. 

Picture the average consumer, walking into one shop in a mall before staring down at his or her phone for three minutes and walking out and into another store. Well, maybe that is not fickle at all—just smart. Either way, retailers have to be ready to convert prospects into customers in real time. 

"It's anyone's game today, especially online," said Julie Krueger, retail managing director at Google. "Because shoppers are choosing the brands that are there and useful in the moment, established brands can't take for granted that their loyal shoppers will automatically default to shopping with them this year."

Indeed, Krueger and her team last year found that only 50 percent of holiday shoppers were willing to change their minds. She added, "[Retailers] need to look at the complete omni-channel view of the data."

Here are a few other data points from Google's report, which entails a series of summertime surveys that ranged from 800 to 1,500 participants:

  • About 25 percent of U.S. mobile video viewers utilized YouTube before purchasing while they were at a store or visiting a store's website.
  • In July, mobile searches related to "unique gifts" increased more than 65 percent while mobile searches related to "cool gifts" jumped 80 percent.
  • Seventy-six percent of mobile consumers who searched for something nearby visited a related business within a day, and 28 percent of those searches result in them buying an item.