Data: Mobile's loose grip on holiday spending

Retail is more digital than ever, but that doesn't mean that smartphones and wearable devices have taken over holiday shopping.

Across all age groups, many consumers still prefer shopping in stores for various reasons. But even when going into a brick-and-mortar store, these consumers don't leave their digital habits behind; many still prefer to pay by mobile or wearable when the option presents itself.

Chart: We wish you a mobile Christmas
It should be no surprise that a lot of holiday shopping will take place on mobile devices this year. But a significant amount of spending will also take place on newer tech, such as wearables and voice activated technology.

Eighty percent of Generation Z consumers plan to shop for holiday gifts on mobile this year, compared to 73 percent of millennials, 62 percent of Generation Xers and 41 percent of baby boomers, according to Discover's Holiday 2018 study. Thirty-five percent of Gen Zers and 36 percent of millennials plan to shop from a wearable or internet of things device, compared to 24 percent of Gen Xers and 8 percent of boomers.

But shopping from a smaller device doesn't necessarily equate to smaller spending. Thirty-three percent of Gen Zers and 35 percent of millennials plan to spend more this year, compared to 26 percent of Gen Xers and 16 percent of boomers, Discover reported.
Chart: Shoppers' holiday
The rise in mobile and e-commerce spending may have something to do with a desire to stay indoors on Thanksgiving. But even if younger consumers want to do more shopping digitally, that doesn't mean they favor keeping stores closed for the holiday.

Of all age groups, Generation Z was the most likely to support keeping stores open on Thanksgiving for shopping, Morning Consult found in a survey of 2,201 U.S. adults. Opposition to keeping stores open on the holiday increased with each age group.

Overall, 75 percent of respondents said stores should be closed because people should spend Thanksgiving with family and friends; 63 percent said they should be closed out of consideration for the employees.
Chart: Mobile for everything
Paradoxically, consumers want to shop on mobile and shop in stores for their holiday gifts. One reason for this might be that they don't see the channels as being mutually exclusive.

This year, half of consumers plan to use a mobile device to place an e-commerce order, according to JLL Research. But nearly 10 percent plan to use their mobile device to shop in a brick-and-mortar store.

This could be a sign of the creeping success of mobile wallets as an in-store sale option, or of the success of individual store-brand wallets where consumers plan to do their shopping (i.e. Starbucks, whose gift card is among the most popular holiday gifts).
Chart: Amazon's influence's massive scale is no doubt a heavy influencer of consumers' decision to shop online or by mobile device, but Amazon's influence extends far beyond the digital realm.

Amazon Prime members are the most likely to use an online "buy" button, at 47 percent compared to non-Prime members at 28 percent, according to PwC. But they are also more likely to use digital methods in physical stores.

Thirty-two percent of Amazon Prime members are likely to use a smartphone to pay in stores, compared to 15 percent of non-Prime members; and 21 percent of Prime members would use a wearable, compared to 10 percent of non-Prime members, according to PwC.
Chart: Going places
Just because some consumers prefer shopping in stores doesn't mean they treat all stores the same.

Ninety-one percent of millennials surveyed by Accenture prefer shopping in drug stores, which makes sense given the immediate needs those products address. At 68 percent, far fewer preferred shopping in consumer electronics stores — this could be a sign that seeing a product in person is overvalued compared to the discounts that can be obtained from shopping online.
Chart: Deals and steals
Perhaps one reason consumers aren't completely committed to online and mobile shopping is the risk of being duped by phishing scams.

Phishing is commonly associated with fake bank logins, but one popular variant is to lure victims with the promise of a too-good-to-miss sale on a product they want.

Of those who clicked a malicious shopping link, 8 percent downloaded a virus, 4 percent had money lost or stolen, 3 percent purchased a fake product and 2 percent had financial information stolen, according to DomainTools.