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Toluna QuickSurveys: Brits Turning to Online Shopping This Christmas but Very Few Are Utilising Their Mobile Devices; NFC Not Yet a Hit

Online shopping is steadily eclipsing the in-store shopping experience, with 71% of consumers claiming they do half or all of their shopping online, but interestingly, only 1 in 10 are using their smartphones and tablets to do so (11%).

Over 4 in 5 consumers in the UK will use their desktop or laptop to shop online (86%), and, although the prevalence of portable devices is increasing, less than 1 in 10 will be using their tablet or smartphone to purchase goods (7% on a tablet, 4% on a smartphone).

This could be partly due to the shopping experience on mobile devices, as one of the top reasons for UK consumers shopping online is to compare the best price or service for Christmas gifts (65%), and over half of Brits (51%) do so to ‘see everything they need’ at a glance. These figures indicate that consumers require a larger screen to fully use retailers’ websites to shop at present, and would account for lack of shopping via tablets and smartphones.

The findings are part of a study undertaken by leading online global panel technology provider, Toluna QuickSurveys, who interviewed 2,000 consumers to assess the consumer shopping trends over the Christmas period in the UK, US and Germany.

Not quite ready to wave goodbye to chip and pin

In a similar vein, this survey also revealed that, whilst shopping in-store, only 1 in 10 plan to pay for items using their smartphones via Near Field Communication (NFC) (11%), with over four-fifths of consumers saying they will definitely not use their mobile phone to ‘wave and pay’ for purchases in-store (81%). In Germany and the US, consumers seem to be more wary of this technology (85% in both countries respectively). These findings indicate that consumers are still skeptical, or unaware, of this new process, and technology providers have some way to go to convince consumers of its benefits.

UK Managing Director at Toluna, Mark Simon, commented on the findings: “The availability of cheaper products online, as well as a proliferation of user-friendly, unbiased price comparison sites, is clearly detracting from the traditional in-store shopping experience. However, smartphones and tablets are not being used, suggesting that they do not yet facilitate online retail experiences as well as traditional technologies. It will be interesting to see how technologies develop to provide better shopping experiences both in-store and online to adapt to consumers’ changing priorities.”

Other notable findings from the study include:

Amazon sales in the UK are set to rocket this festive period with 41% of consumers intending on doing half or most of it via their website, compared to 36% last year.

Surprisingly, the majority of UK consumers will not use social platforms to facilitate, or even inspire Christmas spend; only 5% will use a link from a Facebook page to go on to purchase an item, with a further 6% redeeming a Facebook offer. Pinterest fares worse still, with only 1% drawing inspiration from the platform’s visual postings.

Tablets came top of the technology device wish-list across the UK and US, with 17% and 29% respectively saying they will buy one over other gadgets such as smartphones, printers, cameras, laptops, PCs, and game stations (the Kindle just pipping Apple’s offerings to the post with 13% saying they would buy one in the US, compared with 12% in the UK).


This survey was conducted in the UK, US and Germany in December 2012 among 2,000 adults in the UK and US and 1,000 adults in Germany (18+), selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Toluna surveys. Figures for age, gender, education and region were weighted to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the online population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in Toluna surveys, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For more information on the results from this Survey, please contact [email protected].

Toluna QuickSurveys takes the simplicity and cost-effectiveness of DIY survey-tools and adds speed and reliability by providing direct access to a global panel of four million people available to respond to surveys. No other survey tool in the market can match the speed, reliability and cost-effectiveness. For more information, please visit

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