For the past week the news has been focused on Black Friday shopping traffic, or is it now Mobile Thursday, or Cyber Monday? What hasn’t been mentioned is that this past weekend’s activity is not the start, nor the height of holiday shopping. It is the second leg of a marathon shopping season that began as early as October and won’t end until New Year’s Day- or even beyond.
According to Google’s Holiday Consumer Intentions, 54% of consumers will start holiday shopping before Black Friday, including 27% as far back as October. And when asked when they will do a majority of their holiday shopping, one-third said early to mid December. With all the numbers from IBM’s Digital Analytical Benchmark results from last weekend’s $59 Billion sales revenue, let’s check the leader board on how some of the channels are performing in this holiday shopping race:
Winner of this leg: Multi-channel or multi-screen consumers who were savvy to shop in store, online and on mobile devices to get the best bargains. Google cited this summer that 51% of consumers planned to research online but buy in-store. IBM reported that 58% of consumers used smartphones to go online to surf for bargains compared to 41% who used tablets on Black Friday.
Setting the pace: Mobile and Tablets (iPad and Android) lived up to the hype with mobile site traffic up 67% and mobile sales up 65% from 2011. Browsing of retail sites on mobile devices rose to 24% up from 14.3% during Black Friday 2011. Couch commerce is quickly becoming the new buzz phrase in online and mobile retail.
Pulling away from the pack: Thanksgiving Day is gaining momentum and popularity for shoppers as e-commerce grew 17.4% from 2011. In addition, many retailers, including Target, Kohl’s, Sears, and Wal-Mart, all started online and in-store sales as early as 8pm Thursday on Thanksgiving.
Falling behind: Referrals from social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube generated only 0.34% of online sales and 0.81% referral traffic, down from 2011. Twitter had zero referral traffic. But all is not lost as social’s word-of-mouth power is still strong: it continues to be a platform for consumers to share positive shopping experiences.
There are still 6 weeks left in this marathon of holiday shopping, and a lot of marketing will go out to consumers to drive traffic to retailers online and in person. Don’t cool-down before you cross the finish line. For more information on Mobile Marketing strategies, watch a clip from our recent webinar, Mobile Marketing Holiday Strategies.