Marketing for the holidays has already begun this month. Black Friday and Cyber Monday have been notorious for increased sales. According to IBM Digital Analytics ‘Online Holiday Mobile Shopping Report for 2014’, 44.6% of online traffic during the holiday season came from mobile devices and 25% of consumers utilized a smartphone to purchase holiday gifts. A recent study by Pew Research Center ’Technology Device Ownership in 2015′ found that young adults ages 18 to 29 prefer to own a mobile phone or a smartphone more than a desktop or laptop. The findings for this age group indicate that 98% of young adults are likely to own a mobile phone and 50% would own tablets while 78% are likely to own desktop or laptop. In the 2014 holiday season, the top online shopping days were in the first two weeks of December, in particular the 1st and 2nd days of the month. Mobile platforms have become shoppers’ trusted and convenient choice for search, review of deals, and purchases, making mobile campaigns and their success crucial.
Today, in many businesses marketing professionals have the ability to see data and trends to help them in budget planning and execution, as well as use predictive models to support better strategic marketing decision making.
How to devise a winning marketing strategy for the holidays
Here are a few points to consider:
- It all boils down to providing a unique, authentic, customer experience where consumers feel their problems are solved, they are being heard, and the process is easy and quick. Online customers are not averse to sharing personal information that may result in personalized (and better) shopping experiences.
- Building an omnichannel marketing strategy and execution plans: Online shoppers don’t distinguish their experience as a ‘mobile’ or ‘desktop’ engagement; for them it is the interaction and whether it was awesome or not. For example, businesses can push targeted and personalized promotions to consumers with text messaging and special discounts to encourage purchases. Such GPS-based deals can be presented to shoppers as they walk near or while at a retailer, at a restaurant, or an entertainment facility, etc.
- Combining online and offline marketing campaigns creates a great opportunity to push promotions and coupons on mobile devices, and, in a way, offers an additional creative omnichannel. Many consumers constantly use their smartphone in stores for searches, examine product features, read others’ reviews, and check prices.
- Shoppers prefer seamless access, ease of use, and quick response. Therefore mobile-focused digital experience is so important, where content loads quickly, provides clear and the right visual information (for example, no clutter), and is engaging.
- Content strategy should be dynamic in the duration of the holiday season. This means more than planning and offering fresh content; being agile is the name of the game and making changes during the season might be needed. For example, demographics can show new trends, which may not have been anticipated last year or the year before. This may require a shift in strategy, distribution of the items, etc. Programmatic advertising can be a useful tool.
- Measuring and analyzing user engagement data needs to be closely monitored. For example, looking at shopping cart abandonments, actual purchases, searches, interest in like-products, repeat-customers transactions, etc. will all give valuable information.
The smartphone is the consumers’ best friend for holiday purchases. Therefore, marketing professionals need to have a dynamic mobile strategy that provides shoppers with the access, information and resources shoppers need to make purchases.
1. For the IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark Report click here.
From the Online Holiday Mobile Shopping Report 2014: “Mobile shoppers created record-breaking results for retailers and other businesses over the holiday season as consumers increasingly used smartphones and tablets to browse and buy. What were the biggest surprises, and what’s on the horizon for 2015?
Click on the Online Holiday Mobile Shopping Report 2014.
2. For more information on the the Pew Research Center study, read the eMarketer Daily article ‘Young Adults More Likely to Own Smartphone Than PC’