Will Smartphones Kill the Tradition of Black Friday?

The obligatory chore of holiday shopping isn’t nearly as stressful as it once was—thanks in large part to our mobile devices.

No longer are we required to dedicate entire days at the mall, maneuvering through hordes of shoppers and enduring long lines; today, we simply need a WiFi connection and some spare time.

According to a new report by Google and Ipsos MediaCT, more and more consumers are giving up “shopping marathons” and are replacing them with “micro moments”: instantaneous purchases made with a smartphone or tablet throughout the entire season.

The report, which surveyed consumers on their holiday shopping strategies, found that 54 percent of people will purchase gifts via smartphones during their spare time. But that’s not say Black Friday is no longer relevant. Many shoppers continue to engage in this tradition with the intention of getting good deals; however, data has shown that the “busiest shopping day” is losing steam.

“It used to be that people would plan their shopping marathons for days like Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Now, shopping happens in the moments between everything else in our lives,” the report read. “Last year, for example, we saw steady consumer shopping interest in ‘gifts and presents’ all season long. This type of shopping has led to shorter, more purposeful mobile shopping sessions.”

The data also shows that online purchases made with smartphones has gone up 64 percent within the last 12 months, and that 30 percent of all online purchases are made with mobile devices. By contrast, in-store shopping during the Thanksgiving weekend went down 5 percent from 2013 to 2014, according to the National Retail Federation.

But even when it comes to in-store shopping, consumers are turning to their phones to research products prior purchasing them in person. About 52 percent of shoppers say they will refer to their smartphones before visiting a store, and 82 percent said they will consult their smartphones while in a store.

“Consumers are using their smartphones in all parts of the shopping process—from inspiration to research to purchasing,” the report read. “In fact, shopping-related searches on mobile have grown more than 120 percent year over year and are fast approaching those on desktop.”

You can check out the full report here.

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