Make us your home page
Instagram

Mobile shopping could make lines at stores obsolete

A recent survey by PayPal found that 86 percent of consumers planned to use a mobile device for some of their shopping this year, if they hadn’t already.

iStockphoto.com

A recent survey by PayPal found that 86 percent of consumers planned to use a mobile device for some of their shopping this year, if they hadn’t already.

From the look of all the Amazon Prime boxes landing on my neighbor's doorstep, I don't think he has stepped foot in a store this holiday season.

And he's not the only one.

Online sales, particularly those done through a mobile device, are the top story of this year's shopping season. Consumers weary of crowds and long lines are preferring to shop from the comfort of home and, in many cases, with a drink in one hand and in the buff. But more on that later.

Cyber Monday was the biggest day in e-commerce history. Mobile sales led the way, exceeding 17 percent of total online sales, a whopping 55 percent increase over last year, according to data from IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark.

And way to click, Tampa shoppers! We ranked 10th among the nation's 100 largest cities for the most cyber sales.

"It's the year of digital and mobile,'' declared Mindy Grossman, chief executive officer of St. Petersburg-based HSN, during an interview on CNBC last week. For the first time, more than half of the shopping network's digital traffic over Thanksgiving weekend came from mobile devices.

Credit the rise of couch commerce to the monster growth in smartphones and tablets this year (even my 7-year-old wants an iPad for Christmas).

Retailers have been quick to respond, developing websites designed for smaller mobile devices with more streamlined, easy-to-load content. Gone are the days when you had to wait to get home — or to work — to log onto your desktop to add to your cart. Now you can buy everything on the go.

A recent survey by PayPal found that 86 percent of consumers planned to use a mobile device for some of their shopping this year, if they hadn't already. On Black Friday, historically the busiest shopping day of the year, the number of consumers shopping through PayPal on their mobile devices doubled compared with 2012. On Cyber Monday, mobile usage jumped 94 percent.

"Technology is shifting how consumers are shopping,'' said Stacy General, consumer experience advocate for PayPal, which provides payment services through the Internet. "They are looking to have control.''

PayPal goes as far as to predict that advances in mobile technology will make standing in line at stores obsolete in five years.

The reason boils down to convenience. PayPal's survey found that 33 percent of people like to shop in their pajamas, and 15 percent like to drink alcohol while shopping (because shelling out $329 for a Samsung Galaxy Note sure hurts less after a few glasses of wine). And about 11 percent said they like to shop in the nude — news that could have the effect of spoiling that new sweater you got from Aunt Peg.

Spend a few hours in the stores and you know that not all is calm, not all is bright. Shoppers can be pushy and rude. Store employees can be grumpy or nonexistent. There's no such thing as getting in and out of a mall fast, especially on weekends.

I was in Kmart on Friday when a customer in line started shouting at a cashier, who had to call security. Standing there waiting, it crossed my mind that we live in a state where more than 1 million people have a concealed weapon permit — about one in 19.

"I could get shot trying to buy a $6.99 snowman pin," I thought.

Fortunately, nothing bad happened, and the register scuffle ended quickly without incident. A few of us in line joked about never coming to the store again.

Thanks to the rise in mobile shopping, that might not be so far-fetched.

Susan Thurston can be reached at sthurston@tampabay.com or (813) 225-3110. Follow @susan_thurston on Twitter.

by the numbers

94 percent jump in consumers shopping through PayPal on mobile devices on Cyber Monday.

17 percent of total online sales that are made on mobile phones.

55 percent increase over last year.

86 percent of consumers who planned to use a mobile device for some of their shopping this year.

33 percent of people who like to shop in pajamas.

15 percent of people who like to drink alcohol while shopping online.

11 percent of people who said they like to shop in the nude.

Mobile shopping could make lines at stores obsolete 12/16/13 [Last modified: Monday, December 16, 2013 11:31pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. For Gov. Rick Scott, 'fighting' could mean vetoing entire state budget

    State Roundup

    Every day, Gov. Rick Scott is getting a lot of advice.

    The last time a Florida governor vetoed the education portion of the state budget was in 1983. Gov. Bob Graham blasted fellow Democrats for their “willing acceptance of mediocrity.”
  2. Potential new laws further curb Floridians' right to government in the Sunshine

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — From temporarily shielding the identities of murder witnesses to permanently sealing millions of criminal and arrest records, state lawmakers did more this spring than they have in all but one of the past 22 years to chip away at Floridians' constitutional guarantees to access government records and …

    The Legislature passed 17 new exemptions to the Sunshine Law, according to a tally by the First Amendment Foundation.
  3. Data breach exposes 469 Social Security numbers, thousands of concealed weapons holders

    Corporate

    Social Security numbers for up to 469 people and information about thousands of concealed weapons holders were exposed in a data breach at Florida the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The breach, which the agency believes happened about two weeks ago, occurred in an online payments system, spokesperson …

    Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam on Monday that nearly 500 people may have had their Social Security numbers obtained in a data breach in his office.
[Times file photo]

  4. Trigaux: Can Duke Energy Florida's new chief grow a business when customers use less power?

    Energy

    Let's hope Harry Sideris has a bit of Harry Houdini in him.

    Duke Energy Florida president Harry Sideris laid out his prioriities for the power company ranging from improved customer service to the use of more large-scale solar farms to provide electricity. And he acknowledged a critical challenge: People are using less electricity these days. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  5. Citigroup agrees to pay nearly $100 million fine for Mexican subsidiary

    Banking

    NEW YORK — Citigroup has agreed to pay nearly $100 million to federal authorities to settle claims that a lack of internal controls and negligence in the bank's Mexican subsidiary may have allowed customers to commit money laundering.

    Citigroup has agreed to pay nearly $100 million to federal authorities to settle claims that a lack of internal controls and negligence in the bank's Mexican subsidiary may have allowed customers to commit money laundering. 
[Associated Press file photo]