1. Mobile Devices
Mobile devices are now driving a boost in Thanksgiving weekend e-Commerce with more conversions now happening on phone. People use their phones to to preview products and prices; retailers like Best Buy and Toys ‘R’ Us encourage shoppers to test the product in-store but skip the huge holiday lines and crowds by buying from their web site. It is bringing us one step closer to frictionless commerce.
Shoppers now research products on their mobile devices even earlier, with some of the largest “converted cart sizes” occurring weeks before Black Friday. Thanksgiving Day has grown into an e-Commerce holiday as some retailers are making a statement – inspired by negative consumer sentiment about stores being open on the Holiday – by being closed to allow their own staff to celebrate the day with their families. This has pushed a higher volume of shoppers online also creating a big spike in shopper activity after 4 pm on Thanksgiving, just after the average eating hours. With these statistics in hand, digital media buyers can plan their programmatic campaigns using specific time of day targeting for their mobile campaigns, and also creating mobile specific messaging and creative for the “window shoppers” who start shopping on their commutes to and from work much before the actual Holiday.
eMarketer is predicting that digital holiday sales will increase a record 11.5 percent this year, compared to a 17-percent increase in 2016. What’s more, large traditional retailers like Walmart are trying to boost e-Commerce sales in order to compete with Amazon, possibly pushing more shoppers online. eMarketer also predicts that an additional driver of “e-Commerce will be the continued growth of m-Commerce sales — particularly smartphone commerce, which will rise by an estimated 57.8% in 2017 overall.”
2. Video Advertising is on the Rise
“In 2015, U.S. agency and marketing professionals said they spent, on average, $5.6 million on digital and mobile video advertising,” according to eMarketer, “A year later, they spent an average of $6.8 million, and this year  they anticipate spending an average of $9.4 million.” Consumers expect content to be available in video form, with 50% of consumers who look for a video of the product before visiting the online store. Studies show that a user is 25% more likely to lose interest in retail content if it isn’t in video format. 51.9% of marketers say that video offers the best ROI (return on investment) and that consumers themselves much prefer video content to any other type.
Knowing the trend in video investment and consumption, it’s important for programmatic media buyers and marketing teams to implement platform pixels with their social and paid media buys and begin building audiences way ahead of the holidays, which can then inform the remainder of a Holiday media buying strategy. Another tactic to consider is extending campaign durations to start way before the Holiday period. More than half of users who clicked on Cyber Weekend sales ads usually had a first touch prior to Thanksgiving, so it’s important to ensure that retargeting efforts during the 2017 Holiday Season are reaching users who may have clicked far in advance of the actual Holiday promotions.
3. Social Media Will Have a Big Impact on Gift Buying
Social media will have a real impact on what people buy for their loved ones this year. One-third of all Americans will be influenced by social this year, and 30 percent of people surveyed by Sprout Social said that they planned to post about gifts they received on social media
. In addition to people posting about their presents on social, Sprout Social
also predicts that the average retailer will receive more than 3,000 social messages during this holiday season–approximately 30 percent more than last year. According to the report, 56 percent of the messages retailers receive in 2017 will require retailers to take action, a 15 percent increase compared to the 2016 holiday season. Regardless of the increased customer service type postings through platforms like Facebook and Twitter, response times and rates on social remain stubbornly low.
Brands and retailers should consider investing more heavily in resources for social customer-service efforts to keep more happy users and spenders on their site.
To find out more about when and where we predict people will be shopping this 2017 Holiday season download Digilant’s Holiday and Consumer Shopping Report.