Over half of shoppers will utilize physical retailers for majority of their holiday shopping

JLL survey also reveals that 50% of holiday shoppers will make at least one purchase via their mobile device this season, up significantly from 2017 (22.2%)

November 16, 2018

Shoppers are going mobile

As cell phones become more widespread across all demographics, mobile devices will play an important role this holiday season. The number of shoppers making purchases on mobile will double compared to last year (50.3% vs. 22.2%).

“This year we will see consumers taking full advantage of the multichannel retail experience with many customers indicating that they will be using their mobile devices to do research, price-out comparisons, and order goods while in the store or from the comfort of their home,” added James Cook, Director of Retail Research, JLL. “Physical retail will continue to be the number one channel in terms of volume by far this holiday season, but as the blending of channels continue the store will evolve to provide customers with greater convenience and experience options as well.”

Shoppers also indicated that they would use their mobile device to look for deals and discounts (39.1%), product reviews (34.5%), get inspiration for gifts (30.0%), and check physical store inventory (21.9%) before heading to the store. Interestingly Gen X shoppers are more likely to use their phones to make online orders compared to other age groups. Boomers are the most likely to check product reviews on their phones prior to purchase. 

How will you use mobile? 2018 2017
Order online 50.3% 22.2%
Look for deals, coupons or lowest prices 39.1% 21.9%
Look at product reviews 34.5% 19.1%
Get gift ideas/holiday inspiration 30.0% 14.1%
Check store inventory 21.9% 14%
Make a payment inside store 9.7% 6.6%
N/A 7.4% 2.1%

Physical retailers find new roles this holiday season

As the multichannel shopping experience continues to grow, brick and mortar retail locations are taking on new roles in the holiday shopping process. According to the survey, a little less than half of holiday shoppers will do most of their purchases online, but many of those buying online will still head to the store for some of their shopping. Interestingly, the two most popular categories for physical retailers are discount stores (26.8% of shoppers) and department stores (21.1% of shoppers). Industrial real estate also plays a big role as both digital and physical retailers look to reduce costs by keeping inventory in one central warehouse location.

“Industrial real estate is at a premium with both e-commerce and clicks-to-bricks retailers relying on warehouse space as retail channels continue to blend, especially in and near urban cores where traditional warehouses and distribution centers are few and far between,” said Matt Powers, Executive Vice President of JLL’s Retail/e-commerce Distribution practice. “To account for these densely populated markets and growing multichannel demand, companies need to consider innovative solutions to last mile delivery that reshape the conventional logistics landscape.”

Department and discount stores are popular choices among female shoppers this holiday season (22.9% and 13.1% respectively). But the most surprising statistic is that 33.3% of young millennial women indicated that they would be doing most of their holiday shopping at a department store, while Boomer women (17.4%) will visit discount stores this holiday season. Comparatively, men will be visiting electronics (8.8% to 3.1%) and jewelry stores (2.5% to 0.6%) more than women this holiday season.


In order to get a more thorough insight into consumer plans and sentiments for the holidays, JLL surveyed 1,000 U.S. consumers online from October 3–5, 2018.

About JLL

JLL (NYSE: JLL) is a leading professional services firm that specializes in real estate and investment management. Our vision is to reimagine the world of real estate, creating rewarding opportunities and amazing spaces where people can achieve their ambitions. In doing so, we will build a better tomorrow for our clients, our people and our communities. JLL is a Fortune 500 company with operations in over 80 countries and a global workforce of 88,000 as of September 30, 2018. JLL is the brand name, and a registered trademark, of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated. For further information, visit jll.com