This year, retail brands can expect a 5.7% increase in holiday sales. eMarketer reports this as the highest jump in holiday spending since 2011. As consumers become savvier, the mobile device will play an increasingly important role in holiday shopping. Consumers already rely heavily on their smartphones when shopping. The chart below shows expectations shoppers themselves have for using their phones throughout the upcoming season. Key uses include finding coupons/promo codes, comparing prices, reading ratings/reviews and locating items in stores (Ipsos). One action not listed in the graph is the final and most important step- completing a purchase on a mobile device. Mobile purchasing as a whole has experienced significant growth in recent years. Ipsos predicts the number of mobile purchasers to increase from 104 million users in 2014 to 121 users in 2015. While the holiday media mix for brands is currently diverse, brands may consider dedicating more of their digital dollars to mobile advertising as the mobile purchasing population develops even more. This past year, digital comprised of just 21.8% of advertising spending during November and December (Kantar).
Adweek recently wrote about two shopping networks for mobile purchasers to take advantage of during the holiday season. Pinterest and the MikMak app are creating holiday buzz. Pinterest recently added a “buy” button to their posts in June, allowing brands to connect with customers they may never have been able to reach on the site beforehand. In the past, Pinterest has been used as a tool to gather inspirational images. With the “buy” button, consumers will have the opportunity to turn their inspirational boards into a reality. MikMak is a new video shopping network. The app creates short videos each day for different brands looking to reach customers in a quick and creative way. All items sold on the app are conveniently priced under $100. Two things both the Pinterest app and MikMak app offer are a unique shopping experience and an efficient purchasing process, which will be key drivers for mobile sales.
Google is also noticing the potential strength mobile has for holiday sales. In an article about holiday trends to watch in 2015, Google describes this year’s shopper as active, connected and open-minded. 40% of last year’s holiday shopping occurred online, with much mobile research taking place beforehand. Brands using apps such as Pinterest and MikMak should be happy to learn Google noted over half of the consumers they surveyed were open-minded to trying new brands. Google’s data also showed 25% of holiday consumers were well prepared, having all of their shopping completed before Halloween.
The mobile shopping experience has become more interactive and easier to manage. With more people open to shopping on a small screen, should the advertising focus remain on creating a balanced media mix during the holiday season, or will digital advertising efforts takeover, encouraging more people to click the “buy” button? Either way, brands can look forward to a holiday shopping season filled with shoppers who are ready to spend.