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9 out of 10 Belgians reach for their smartphones for holiday shopping


Smartphones play an important part in our holiday purchases. As many as 9 out of 10 Belgians use their mobile phones, either for actual shopping or in search of inspiration. We also use our mobiles to locate shops or track packages, a survey conducted by Orange Belgium among more than 1,000 respondents reveals.

  • 53% use it for inspiration, 49% look up specifications and 35% effectively use their smartphone to finalize the purchase.
  • We do our holiday shopping nearly as much online (51%) as we do at the shopping centre (53%). Urban shopping centers (38%), specialty stores (38%) and supermarkets (17%) remain a firm favourite, too.
  • We use our smartphone most often to buy clothes (51%) or perfume and other care products (45%).         

Only 11% of those surveyed do not use their smartphones for Christmas and year-end shopping. For everyone else the mobile phone has turned into an essential tool in the quest for presents or festive outfits. First of all, we use it to gain inspiration (53%), look up specifications (49%) or locate a store (44%). Having paved the way with our smartphone, we start looking for our presents in the store itself. Increasingly more often it happens the other way around. 11% of respondents often or always check out something in a store first (to see if it is the right fit, for example) to then order it online. 30% do this sometimes, 21% only for specific products. 35% of those surveyed directly purchase items with their phones. 40% use it to make payments for their holiday shopping and another 41% rely on their smartphones to track delivery of their packages.

Online shopping hot on the heels of shopping centers

Online shopping is becoming increasingly more popular, beaten only by the tiniest of margins by the shopping centers – which are overcrowded during this period. 51% do their holiday shopping on the web, whereas 53% still scour the shopping malls. Shopping centers in cities (38%) and specialty stores (38%) need not worry about disappearing off the shopping radar just yet. Large supermarkets (17%) also account for a substantial slice of our holiday shopping budget.

Why are we buying online more and more? The reasons are pretty obvious. The flexibility of online shopping offers many benefits. For one, 56% considers not having to leave the house very convenient. 43% opt to shop online because they can order outside of opening hours. According to 46%, shopping online saves money, with 41 % finding the offer more varied. Finally, 34% would rather avoid the hustle and bustle of stores and 28 % believe online shopping is faster.

Articles of clothing most frequently bought items via smartphone

One question still remains: what do we actually buy? It turns out that the items we purchase most with our smartphones are articles of clothing (51%). Perfume and other skin care products take up second place with 45%. Toys and multimedia devices share the third spot with 37%. Shoes, handbags and leather goods rack up a score of 35%. The amounts deducted from our accounts via our smartphones, tend to vary. The majority of respondents (30%) say they spend 100 to 250 euros via their phone during the holiday period. 28% shell out 50 to 100 euros, with 20% even spending between 250 and 500 euros.

All those figures tend to prove that the mobility and ease of use procured by smartphones are impacting increasingly large aspects of customers’ daily lives. As an operator, Orange Belgium wants to play the role of a facilitator of these new kinds of usages.

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