For many consumers, the holiday season came early this year, as the iPhone 5 was released and sold more than five million units in the first three days. The release is important to marketers as well, as the larger screen means that there is more real estate for immersive creative executions. With the millions of new smartphones circulating the market, here are five tips to consider right now that will help reach the mobile consumer this holiday season.
Start Early & End Late
Consumers are now beginning their holiday research and shopping as soon as Halloween is over. Mobile campaigns should launch no later than the beginning of November. Tablet and mobile shoppers are more frequently starting early than other shoppers. In 2011, Google said that early promotions resulted in higher conversions and high AOV’s. Ramping up your campaigns prior to peak season will help establish them early on and see what aspects are (and aren’t) working.
Holiday shopping does not conclude after December 25. In a study conducted by Google, 39 percent of consumers shopped after the holidays in 2011, with the two main reasons being additional purchases for themselves and post-holiday sales. Continue your mobile push with post-holiday sales into the New Year.
Establish a Separate, Yet Integrated Plan for Each Device
It’s important to understand the roles smartphones and tablets have in the consumer experience and purchase funnel. Every brand must have a mobile optimized landing page to drive to on smartphones. A study by IAB revealed that 50 percent of consumers use smartphones for in-store activities and prefer mobile landing pages. A separate study by Google shows that 67 percent of those asked say “a mobile-friendly site makes me more likely to purchase a product or use a service.” The smartphone experience is centered around seeking advice and comparing products. While the tablet shopping experience is centered around checking prices and the availability of products. Tablet users tend to use them as an entertainment device around the house, and prefer an experience similar to PCs.
Capture Consumers on Their Smartphones on Black Friday and the Day After Christmas
Since smartphone users tend to research products in store, it shouldn’t be surprising that the highest day for mobile traffic during the holiday season last year was on Black Friday and the day after Christmas. While ROI might be lower on those days, these are key dates to build brand awareness while consumers are on location, as well as giving them information on in-store sales and product reviews to ensure they’re spending their dollars. Make consumers aware of offers that are not only online, but in store as well, as smartphone shoppers are 14 percent more likely to convert in store than non-phone shoppers.
Maximize Tablet Budget on Holidays and Cyber Monday
Cyber Monday was the number one day for mobile revenue in 2011. According to a study by iProspect on major retail brands, tablets accounted for four percent of web traffic but 10 percent of revenue on the day, while tablet conversion rate peaked at over eight percent. Marketers should have a strong mobile presence on Cyber Monday, and ROI clients should maximize tablet budgets this week to capitalize on increased consumer activity. It is also noteworthy that tablet traffic spiked on the holidays, as many consumers spent time at home on their devices.
Don’t Forget Social and Video
Brands should be everywhere this holiday season including mobile and using assets to understand how social opinions and reviews are influencing purchase behavior and to join the conversation. Look to the intersection of mobile and social to help improve two-way communication with consumers.
Don’t forget video this holiday season, especially when targeting a younger demographic. Millennials rely on video to fuel their purchase making decisions more than other demographics. Brands should ensure they have easily accessible video content, including how-to videos and consumer reviews. All of these videos should be accessible on mobile devices to help guide consumers with their choices both at home and in store. Evolving mobile sharing platforms, such as the Photo Stream on iPhone5, will continue to make social increasingly important. With these five tips in mind, you will see higher sales in the mobile shopping world.