IDC Claims Mobile Shoppers Will Account For 30% Of Money Spent This Holiday Season

It’s the time of year where we’ll begin to see a lot of surveys, studies and predictions for the holiday shopping season and especially the year ahead in terms of mobile usage, but like always, many seem to take things a bit too far.

Take, for example, a new survey out by the folks at IDC Retail Insights that indicates mobile shoppers will account for nearly 30% of all money spent this holiday shopping season in the U.S.  While it would certainly be a welcomed stat for mobile retailers and mobile marketers, the logic and methodology behind the study is shoddy at best.  Let’s take a closer look at how they arrived at such conclusions.

The IDC surveyed over 1,000 consumers over the age of 19 about mobile shopping and found that 68% of respondents owned smartphones, almost one third of those respondents claimed that they might be influenced by their mobile phones on where to shop this Christmas — around 28% of the total consumer base — and that mobile shoppers will represent a possible $127 billion in retail sales this Christmas.

These figures are highly unlikely and largely inflate the potential for mobile shopping if you ask me, especially after the MMA came out recently with much more reasonable figures.  According to its October 2010 U.S. Mobile Consumer Briefing, the MMA found that while 59 percent of mobile consumers plan to use their mobile phone for shopping this holiday season, only 4% of US consumers are planning to use their phones to pay for goods.

There will no doubt be a surge in mobile shopping this season — as is the case every year as mobile commerce and technology in general evolve — but it will still be mostly dedicated to research, local product search, etc., not mobile purchases.  It should be interesting to see the actual stats once it’s all said and done.