Sleigh bells are ringing in commercials. Stores are shifting their wrapping paper stock toward red and green hues. Brands are cleaning their email lists for holiday blitzes.
Discussing differences between three of the major social advertising platforms, Heike Young reports on the development of top-performing consumer programs for digital marketers.
The holiday season is here, and nearly every brand will attempt to tie in its product with the season, says the report. As marketing tactics are implemented, Young presents seven consumer trends that will impact campaigns produced, and suggests final reminders for preparation.
No consumer trends analysis in 2014 can omit mobile. Last year, 52% of online smartphone shoppers used their phones throughout the shopping process during the holidays. Expect to see that dwarfed by the number of consumers who use mobile phones this year. Customers will keep their wish lists close and their phones closer. Marketing team considerations:
2. Huge Smartphone Displays.
Customers are increasingly choosing big (mobile) screens that give them better experiences while reading, watching videos, writing emails, and surfing the web, says the report. More pixels equals more time to scan your website, Yelp pages, YouTube videos, and beyond. Customers now have the large smartphone displays to improve viewing experiences.
3. Checking Reviews Before Buying
Before making a purchase last year, says the report, shoppers referenced 12 sources of information. In 2010, they referenced five. Expect this trend to continue upward, with more customers referencing review sites and star ratings than ever before.
4. Freebies Beyond Free Shipping
Free shipping is getting a little tired, says the report, while gift cards are becoming the next high-appeal freebie. Customers will hear many impactful offers from brands this holiday season, so find a freebie that appeals to your audience uniquely.
5. Apple Pay Takes Off.
Major retailers are already adopting Apple Pay, and the number of retailers who accept it will likely swell with the holidays, says the report. In a recent Apple Pay analysis by Business Insider, Apple Pay setup was easy and seamless, and it made shopping easier, requiring fewer steps for in-store purchases.
Unfortunately, though, some retail employees were uninformed about Apple Pay, which slowed purchases. Many customers don't buy because they don't want to wait in line. Make sure in-store teams know how to use Apple Pay.
6. Avoiding stores, but spending many hours shopping online
On big shopping days like Black Friday, it takes a while to park, navigate a mall, wait in line, etc. so customer skepticism of in-store shopping might be a disappointment. However, customers might actually be spending more time with your brand now, as they surf the web and shop from home.
7. Shopping earlier on Thanksgiving Day and later on Christmas Eve
Shopping times are creeping into the "real" holidays (like Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Eve) more than ever. Every brand has to make the decision for themselves on how they'll approach this, as some customers love shopping at 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day and others find a company's decision to open on Thanksgiving Day offensive. have a good explanation of why you chose your decision.
Consumers this holiday season are more mobile, hyperconnected, and review-obsessed than ever before, and marketing these days is all about keeping up with what customers are already doing, concludes the report.
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