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As the annual mobile commerce benchmark of holiday shopping approaches, it looks like it could be yet another mobile moment.

Various pre-holiday shopping studies are coming out providing some insight into where mobile may fit this time around.

This matters due to the massive size of spending over a relatively short period of time. Retail sales between last November and January totaled $969 billion, according to Deloitte, with projections of topping $1 trillion this time around.

Online sales are forecast to top $96 billion, beating last year’s $82 billion spent, according to that same report.

While most of the dollars changing hands will happen in stores, digital interactions will influence 67%, or $661 billion, of those sales, according to Deloitte.

So while sales through smartphones may not resemble anything like those in stores, its impact will be everywhere.

This is not to say that mobile sales will be small, since 30% of all online purchases will happen through smartphones this year, according to an analysis of 450 million online sessions conducted by NetElixir.

The reality is that most people always have their phone with them and they use them for shopping all the time. A global mobile shopping study by Nielsen just came out showing that the majority (56%) can’t imagine life without their mobile device and 70% say it makes their life better.

As yet more validation of how consumers are using their phones to shop, Nielsen found that mobile is used frequently during shopping activities. Here’s what they do:

• 53% — Compare prices
• 52% — Look up product information
• 44% — Look for coupons or deals
• 42% — Make better shopping decisions
• 41% — Make shopping trips quicker or more efficient
• 38% — Purchase products

Worldwide, 38% of consumers say they purchased a product or service on their mobile device in the past six months, according to the Nielsen study, which was based on 30,000 online respondents in 63 countries.

On a per-person basis in the U.S., an average of $684 will be spent this holiday season, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers.

Considerably more millennials are purchasing by mobile device, according to Global Web Index. Here’s the percentage of those who made an online purchase via mobile in the last month:

• 62% — Millennials
• 49% — Gen X
• 22% — Baby Boomers

In addition to differences in mobile commerce behavior by demographics, there are differences based on region, according to the Nielsen global study.
— Excerpt taken from MobileShopTalk