Retail mobile marketers – it’s almost time to put away your obscure but timely Halloween costume and put on your festive sweater. The 2018 holiday season is officially here.

Hopefully, you started preparing months ago. If not, you have some catching up to do but it’s not too late to take advantage of the most wonderful time of the year as long as you know where to start.

Lucky for you, we’ve rounded up all of the top retail trends for the 2018 holiday season to help you plan out your strategy.

1. Holiday Season Starts Early…Like Now

It seems like every year, celebrations start earlier and earlier. In Boston they hold an annual “Halfway To St. Paddy’s Day” run. The Hallmark Channel ran a “Christmas in July” special.

With your holiday retail strategy it’s safe to assume the earlier the better. As in now. Competition is stiff in this oversaturated ecommerce market so why not get a jump on the competition?

Holiday Pro Tip: You want your customers frequenting your site or app as much as possible. Consider doing a fun promotion like ‘The 25 Days Of Deals” that keeps you relevant and your customers excited.


2. Holiday Spending Set To Rise

According to eMarketer, both retailers and consumers agree that spending will increase this holiday season, with 60% of Retailers anticipating higher sales and consumers planning to spend about 8% more than last year.

What does this mean for you? More opportunity to capitalize if you play your cards right.

Holiday Pro Tip: Put those awesome user insights that only mobile allows you to capture to work. Create targeted ads on the places your audience frequents (like social media) to keep you top of mind when it comes time to get gifting.


3. Deals Are King

This is not something retailers enjoy hearing, but unfortunately it’s the cold hard truth: deals matter. Eighty-seven percent of consumers say they look for deals while holiday shopping and 71% say price is the biggest determining factor. But that doesn’t mean you have to have to discount at any cost. Figure out a happy medium of what you can offer at a discount to get a consumer to convert and still have a solid profit margin.

Holiday Pro Tip: Having an upsell strategy is key to offsetting discounts. Make sure you have a solid ‘related recommendations’ strategy in place that targets consumers both during and after the check-out process.

4. Don’t Overlook Cyber Week II

Have you heard of Cyber Week II? It’s the week right after the New Year where consumers flock to stores (and online) armed with gift cards and holiday cash. A recent study by Criteo found that last year in the UK alone the AOV (average order value) increased by 28% during this time period, so make sure you allocate some of your marketing spend to this time period to help you kick of the New Year in the black.

Holiday Pro Tip: Don’t be so quick to turn off those ad programs at the end of the year. Instead, let them run through the first week in January to capitalize on Cyber Week II.


5. Mobile Is The Preferred Purchase Channel

Great news for mobile app marketers; more than half of all online holiday purchases will be via mobile. Now’s your time to shine. Arm yourself with all the great tools mobile has to offer from location based messaging, to push, and in-app and use them to deliver targeted messaging that resonates with your audience. Hitting them with the right message at the right time will on their preferred channel (mobile!) will make you a winner this year.

Holiday Pro Tip: Smartphone shoppers are notorious for multitasking. Create some cart abandonment push notifications to drive them back into your app to complete their purchase.


Final Thoughts

We’re excited to see that 2018 is the year where mobile officially overtakes web for holiday purchases. This is huge news for mobile app marketers, and poses an opportunity like never before to truly drive home the importance of retail apps to the modern day consumer. Make sure you have the right tools in place to succeed so you don’t miss out on what’s expected to be your biggest holiday season ever.