While the current weather may not make you think of snowmen and candy canes, the summer is the perfect time for a business to start thinking about the holiday shopping season. And since mobile was a key sales and marketing channel during the 2014 holiday season, it could continue to provide huge opportunities in the coming months. eMarketer recently interviewed Chris Mason, Co-Founder and CEO of Branding Brand, about what role mobile will likely play in 2015.
Before you can discuss the upcoming holiday shopping season in any meaningful way, it’s critical to understand how the way people shop online is changing. While desktop used to be the easiest online sales channel to convert, that’s no longer the case. Both usage and conversions on desktop are trending down. The usage of tablets for online shopping is basically unchanged since last year. Mobile usage, on the other hand, is the only online channel that continues to rise in popularity, largely due to the refinements of smartphones.
Looking back at the 2014 holiday shopping season, Black Friday wasn’t the only major shopping day in November. Smartphones allowed more consumers than ever before to get online and take advantage of holiday sales before the leftover turkey was even put away. Sales numbers for these two major shopping days in 2014 were:
- Thanksgiving – $12.8 million
- Black Friday – $18.1 million.
Sales projections for the 2015 holiday shopping season estimate these figures will be more equal as an increasing number of consumers take advantage of the technology in their pockets to get deals they won’t have to stand in line for at the crack of dawn.
Mason also touched on the recent success of Amazon’s Prime Day, a special mid-week sales extravaganza that was only offered to members of Amazon Prime. Since mobile has made it easy to shop, consumers are beginning to place less importance on visiting a physical store location to get the goods and services they want most.
With an increased number of shoppers demanding great deals all year long—as opposed to only between Black Friday and New Year’s—there’s a growing trend in retail to start holiday sales earlier and earlier each year. And this trend doesn’t simply revolve around November and December holidays.
When trying to pinpoint the source of this trend, Mason points to the marketing techniques retails stores have used over the last decade or so to move holiday merchandise. Rather than letting holiday merchandise linger on the shelves after the holiday ended, retailers began offering deep discounts on the leftovers so that they could immediately put out the products for the next major holiday.
This is why it’s now so common for Christmas to dominate the shelves before trick-or-treaters can even make a dent in their Halloween candy.
Ultimately, the companies providing the best service, value and ease of shopping are likely to win the highest share of holiday shopping dollars. Because of the explosion in the usage of smartphones for shopping over desktop and tablets, this means that now is the time to ensure your company is using a mobile-responsive theme that makes it easy for consumers to find out about your deals and make purchases.
eMarketer. Mobile to Be Big Sales Driver for Holiday Shopping 2015. August 19, 2015.