Research by people-based marketing specialist Signal suggests desktop still has the strongest grip on how consumers are completing purchases.

Taken at face value, the findings could have significant implications for advertisers who are already preparing for the festive season, says Signal, with the survey of 2,000 UK consumers unearthing desktop as the most frequently used channel (54%) for purchasing gifts.

‘In-store’ was the second most popular destination for final purchases, among 34% of consumers, while just 6% of shoppers said that mobile phones were their favourite method of browsing for gifts – that figure sat at 8% for tablets.


However, despite still having a propensity to use desktop for making a final purchase, the importance of mobile in driving end sales shouldn’t be discredited, with the channel likely playing a much more crucial role in purchasing decisions than the findings imply.

In fact, another study released by Tradedoubler last week suggests that while 80% prefer to buy on a PC, 49% use mobile to research items bought via alternative channels.

Taking an inverse view on Signal’s findings, the fact that consumers are not necessarily aware of the role it plays could be testament to the success of retailers becoming more “seamless” in their cross-channel experiences.

Despite this, there’s still much that brands and agencies can do in an effort to tip consumers over the line on mobile. According to Signal, nearly a third (30%) of consumers claimed mobile-specific discounts would encourage them to buy via the channel, in addition to easier purchasing methods, such as one-click and click & collect (20%).

“Retailers should consider how to take friction out of the mobile experience to better serve consumers on the go, especially as mobile-loving millennials continue to gain buying power,” commented Neil Joyce, Signal’s SVP & managing director EMEA.