By Daniel Hunter

New research from bss digital reveals that changes in consumer purchasing behaviour this Christmas will impact retailers who do not have mobile enabled websites. 9% (approximately 1 in 10 shoppers) who used a PC to do their Christmas shopping last year will use their smartphones in 2012.

With 33 million smartphones and tablet computers in the UK, for retailers who are already working on tighter and tighter margins, this 9% could be the difference between a Happy Christmas and a miserable one.

Retailers whose target customers are between 18 - 34 years could stand to lose the most. The survey found that 1 in 5 consumers in this age range will turn away from their PC this year in favour of smartphones to buy Christmas gifts. The independent survey which reveals how people shop online for Christmas was conducted by Opinium in November 2012.

Regional data revealed that London sees the highest number of people, 1 in 6 (16%), turning away from their PC in favour of a smartphone to do their Christmas shopping. Wales came up top with 93% of people favouring their smartphone or PC to do their Christmas shopping. Interestingly, people in the North West of England are one of the least likely (1 in 5) to buy anything on the internet, whilst nearly
1 in 5 consumers in Scotland and the South of England plan to use both a PC and a smartphone to do their Christmas shopping.
Geographic summary for 2012 Christmas shopping online

James Southgate, Client Services Director at bss digital says: "Our survey found that nearly 10 million people use a smartphone or tablet computer to do their Christmas shopping. In today's tough commercial climate, what company can afford to miss out on even a fraction of that business? But that's exactly what some businesses are doing by not having websites which are mobile friendly. If a website is not compatible on a handset, a competitor is just a click away.

A Responsive Web design will meet the needs of all your customers in both the short and long term. Responsive Design means that a site's layout will adjust according to screen size, giving a consistent look and feel no matter what device a customer uses to access it. And, if you think an app is right for your business, make sure it's what your customers want. All too often apps fall woefully short of the customer's expectations."

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