Retailers Grab Last-Minute Holiday Shoppers with Mobile

Old Navy (NYSE: GPS) and eBay (NASDAQ: EBAY) are among the retailers using mobile marketing to reach last-minute shoppers this holiday season.

When shoppers visit Old Navy's Web site from their smartphones, the main page provides key pieces of information for last-minute shoppers, including last-minute gift ideas and the retailer's shipping schedule. Orders of at least $50 placed by 11:59 pm ET on Dec. 19 will ship for free and arrive on Dec. 24, the retailer promises on its web site.

Meanwhile, eBay's mobile app, eBay Now, enables users in San Francisco, San Jose, New York City and Chicago to order products from several popular retailers such as Urban Outfitters (NASDAQ: URBN), Toys "R" Us, Macy's (NYSE: M) and Target (NYSE: TGT). eBay promises that purchases can be delivered the same day for a charge of $5.

It makes perfect sense for retailers to target mobile users for last-minute gift purchasing since, last year, retail-related search activity on mobile devices was 24 percent higher on Christmas Eve than on Black Friday, according to a new report.

The report from xAd found that, in 2012, last-minute mobile shopping activity started to ramp up three days before Christmas and reached new heights on Christmas Eve. Last-minute mobile shopping may be even more prevalent this year with the short holiday shopping window and the significantly increased use of mobile devices for holiday shopping throughout the season.

xAd found that, in the three days before Christmas, users are most often searching for the nearest bricks-and-mortar retailers where they can purchase gifts, recognizing that it may be too late for shipping from e-commerce sites.

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