Is your mobile strategy in place for the touted start to the holiday shopping season? Well, it better be. Don’t say we didn’t warn you in August. ;)
In 9 days, Black Friday will be here.
We talk and hear about it all the time: Mobile is huge right now. And surprise surprise, it’s very likely to have a big impact this holiday season, even more so than last year. (By the way, we define mobile as smartphones, tablets, and wearables.)
But just how significant will mobile be on Black Friday? Many are predicting that mobile shopping will continue as it did last year, and take on an even larger piece of that overall holiday online shopping pie. Let’s quickly flash back to Friday, November 27, 2015 and see what happened.
Mobile beat desktop on traffic last year
Mobile traffic outran desktop and made up for more than half (57.2%) of all online traffic that day, according to the IBM Watson Trend Hub. In fact, these numbers showed an increase of roughly 15% over Black Friday 2014. In addition, sales on mobile devices were also meaningful in 2015, accounting for over a third of that day’s total online sales.
When the mobile category was broken out for Black Friday 2015, IBM reported that smartphones trumped tablets in both traffic and sales. Smartphones made up 44.7% of all online traffic, whereas tablets accounted for a mere 12.5%. Meanwhile, smartphones drove 20.6% of online sales, compared to tablets at 15.5%.
Expect more gains from mobile this year
Let’s glean a little more from on the numbers above, and look at the current state of mobile overall this year.
- More people have mobile devices: 72% of US adults own a smartphone.
- Users are with their devices virtually all day long: 87% have their smartphone by their side, day and night.
- And more purchases are being made on them: mcommerce is expected to account for almost a third of total US retail ecommerce sales this year.
For Black Friday, in particular, a recent study from Market Track revealed that 52% of US internet users said they plan to shop digitally that day, compared to in-store.
And popular trend site BestBlackFriday.com took this a step further with some predictions on mobile specifically. The online guide predicts that more shoppers will use mobile devices to purchase their gifts this year. Overall the site anticipates online spend that day to hit $3.08 billion, and that smartphones and tablets will make up about $600 million.
The preference to mobile shopping on Black Friday is expected across the pond, too.
Top retailers have their mobile strategy in place, and you should too
In August, we gave retailers a head start with five ways to get ready for the upcoming holiday season. If you followed some of our suggestions, like promoting your app and developing the creative for your push notifications and in-app messages, you’re in good shape.
Here, a few retailers that are attempting to reduce some of the “bah humbugs” ahead of Black Friday with mobile. The great thing about these examples is how targeted they are to each particular audience
Sam’s Club wants to give its shoppers a better checkout line experience this holiday season. Ideally, no lines. The Walmart-owned company rolled out the Scan and Go Mobile App to most of its stores in mid-September. It allows consumers to scan a product’s barcode in-store, and purchase the item within the app.
Toys R Us is making sure shoppers don’t forget what’s on their kid’s list again. The retailer has a mobile wish list where parents can add toys in realtime from a mobile holiday catalog. And they can feel good about doing it, too. For every list created through November 19, Toys R Us will donate $1 to Toys for Tots.
Kudos to Toys ‘R’ US for integrating charitable giving into their mobile holiday strategy.
Sears understands the holiday season can quickly lead to a lighter wallet. So, for its Kmart shoppers, there’s the Layaway and Go App. Customers can scan items they’re interested in in-store with their smartphone, and add it to a layaway order.
Looking for that perfect holiday dress at a great deal? Saks Fifth Avenue shoppers will be able to take full advantage of the retailer’s customized online boutiques. Saks launched the mobile technology earlier this year with the help of retail software provider SalesFloor. The digital tool connects local sales associates to online consumers, where they can provide a tailored shopping experience.
And with Home Depot’s mobile shopping app, holiday decorating enthusiasts will be able to evaluate just how big that inflatable lawn snowman will be. (From what I’ve seen on my street, pretty big.) The home improvement retailer’s app has an augmented-reality option allowing customers to see what a product may look like in their home. It also helps shoppers check inventory and locate an item in store.
These are just a few mobile-first examples that some brands have kicked off recently. As Friday, November 25 gets closer, there’ll be plenty more campaigns from app marketers looking to tap into their audience’s eagerness to get their holiday shopping done painlessly. Make it easier for them by way of the device that’s never more than an arm’s reach away.