Commentary

Jingle Bells: Open For Holiday Forecasts

Consumers will engage more with image-based shopping advertisements this holiday season, encouraging marketers to invest at least 30% of all retail paid-search spend on image ads, according to one prediction.

Marin Software's forecast comes after analyzing month-over-month factors in seasonal performance shifts. The Q4 2015 predictions are based on past consumer behavior during the 2014 holiday season, along with an increase in click-through rates to date this year, all from aggregate client data.

Some of the data makes it clear that consumers are increasingly attracted to images. One in four clicks belonged to an image-based advertisement during the 2014 shopping season, per Marin.

Findings in Marin Software's Google and Bing Shopping Ads Report: Current Trends and What Lies Ahead also shows the impact of mobile devices on shopping advertising click-through rates (CTRs). It forecasts that at least 45% of all shopping ad clicks will come from smartphones this holiday season. Some earlier predictions from Adobe and Google estimate higher percentages. 

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SessionM's survey of more than 11,000 consumers suggests that this year consumers will channel hop. About 78% will go into stores, 58% will shop online via desktop or laptop, and 43% of consumers will shop during the holiday season via their mobile device or smartphone. In a follow-up survey, 82% of people said they would make some holiday purchases via mobile this year.

Some 42% said they would do it to avoid long lines; 34% to make purchases while on-the-go or at home; 31% to shop for easier-to -find items online than in the store; and 28% to earn loyalty or rewards points.

SessionM's study also notes that 45% of people plan to use mobile payments like Apple Pay, Google Wallet, Samsung Pay or a specific retailer's app.

No surprise -- women start holiday shopping earlier than men, with 61% starting before Thanksgiving compared with 49% of men. The average person plans to spend $461 with 23% of people spending between $500 and $999, and 13% spending more than $1,000. Men are likely to spend more with 39% of men and 35% of women spending more than $500, according to SessionsM. 

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