A new Placecast poll conducted online within the U.S. on their behalf by Harris Poll indicates that nearly 118 million smartphone owners will be relying on their phones for holiday shopping this year.*

For those smartphone owners who plan to do holiday shopping, 3 out of 4 will use their phones to find sales, comparison shop, take pictures of possible gifts, and make purchases. The survey also showed that American shoppers are very aware of in-store beacons, despite the fact that it is a relatively new technology; over half (52 percent) of the cell phone/smartphone owners surveyed said they have heard of in-store beacons, and 15 percent have engaged with them.

Here are a few key insights garnered from the report, check out the full report for more details!

  • Phones are an integral part of the shopping process: among those who plan on doing any holiday shopping, 3 out of 4 smartphone owners plan to use their phones for some part of their gift-finding and buying experience.
  • The search is over – finding a local retailer via search tops list of mobile activities.Among all smartphone owners, searching for an item in a search engine to find a local retailer topped the list of mobile actions for holiday shopping this season, with 2 out of 5 (39 percent) saying they plan to use their smartphone for this; sending a picture of a potential gift to a friend or family member at a close second (38 percent), followed by searching for a coupon for the store they’re in (33 percent).
  • Moms and dads with children under 18 in their household will be mega-active on mobile: 86 percent of dads plan to use their smartphones for holiday shopping this year. When asked what they will use their phones for the most popular answer among dads was “use my phone to look for an item in a search engine to find a local retailer”. Over half (54 percent) gave this answer. 3 out of 4 (75 percent) of moms plan on using their smartphones for holiday shopping this year. While men are searching for retail locations, mobile moms selected “take pictures of potential gifts to text and get opinions from friends/family” as the top mobile activity, with nearly half (48 percent) saying they will do this.

Consumers know what they want:

  • Make it local: As device owners become sophisticated, local information becomes an important part of the mix 8 out of 10 (82 percent) of smartphone owners say it is at least somewhat important for them to be able to access local information/activities via an app, representing a 3 point increase from the 2012 Alert Shopper survey (79 percent). Nearly 9 out of 10 (87 percent) smartphone owners say it is at least somewhat important that they can use their smartphone to search for a retail location, representing a 2 point increase from 2012 (85 percent).
  • Purchase on the go: 68 percent of smartphone owners find it at least somewhat important to make a purchase on the phone, up 6 points from 2012 (62 percent).
  • Customized content is king: 9 out of 10 smartphone owners know their online purchase and shopping history data is used for customized ads and only 23 percent of them do not want retailers or credit card companies to use this data under any circumstances.

*171 million Americans have smartphones, according to a September 2014 Nielsen report. This Harris poll indicated that 8% of smartphone owners will not be doing holiday shopping this year, leaving roughly 157 million smartphone owners who plan to do holiday shopping. Of this 157 million, 3 out of 4 will use their smartphones, equaling nearly 118 million Americans.