Thanksgiving always has a way of creeping up on us, but this year is especially bad since it’s a week earlier than normal. And while the holidays are always unpredictable when dealing with family (I’m looking at you Aunt Karen), thankfully things are much more predictable when it comes to holiday shopping.

Let’s take a look at 5 shopping predictions for Black Friday and the 2018 Holiday Season (and mobile’s big role):

1. Black Friday is still king


Even though Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday are now big shopping days in their own right, Black Friday is still the reigning king of the holiday shopping season. According to eMarketer, Black Friday is the most popular shopping day amongst ever product category they analyzed.

During 2017, Black Friday enjoyed a record breaking $1.3 Billion in sales and online traffic was at a seasonal high. Expect much of the same for this year.

Mobile Tip: Most consumers go into Black Friday with a game plan, even if they’re taking it on from the couch. Send a push notification to users teasing your deals to generate excitement and keep you top of mind for the big day.

2. Ecommerce spending is on the rise

Thanks to a strong economy, we expect to see a ~16% increase in ecommerce spending this Holiday season. Consumers have more discretionary funds and will cash in big with the holiday spending:


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Mobile Tip: Make it as easy as possible for consumers to spend those extra dollars with you by ensuring an easy check-out process. Implement things like Apple Pay and PayPal that boost conversion and minimize cart abandonment.

3. Mobile will generate the most traffic out of any device

No surprise to all of us in the space, mobile is expected to be the prefered device for shopping this holiday season. ZDNet predicts that 68% of all traffic for the holiday season will be sourced by smartphones.

Better yet, traffic sourced by mobile this year should eclipse traffic generated by all devices in 2015. That’s pretty staggering to think about, and is a testament to just how powerful mobile has become in a few short years.

Mobile Tip: Now is your time to shine. The traffic is there for you to capitalize on. Spend the next week QA’ing the crap out of your app to ensure it’s ready to go for the big day. Mobile users expect a seamless shopping experience so if your app is glitchy you’ll lose out big time.

4. Voice emerges as a shopping device

We’ve been talking about voice activated apps for a couple of years now, so it’s cool to see how much it’s grown.

According to Salesforce, 38% of shoppers reported using a voice-activated app device to make a purchase. That’s a pretty good statistic when you consider this technology didn’t exist 5 years ago.

Consumers (and businesses) are still figuring out how voice fits into the ecommerce world, and that’s ok. The 2018 holiday shopping season will be a telling one for voice.

Mobile Tip: If your brand doesn’t have a voice-activated app yet, add it to your 2019 mobile strategy. You don’t want to be left in the dust when this technology takes off.

5. Mobile will dominate (again)

There is no question mobile crushed Black Friday and Cyber Monday last year. Expect more of the same this year as analysts predict that just about half of all orders will be placed via smartphones. In the UK, a whopping 77% of all consumers are expected to shop via mobile.

Mobile Tip: To truly beat out your competitors you must offer consumers a customized and engaging experience (more oh how to do that below).


Transforming from brick & mortar to mobile

To say the retail market is oversaturated doesn’t begin to cut it. Consumers are inundated with shopping choices like never before and it’s becoming increasingly difficult for brick and mortar to compete.

Macy’s discovered this the hard way as the retail giant faced setbacks over the past few years as consumers turned elsewhere to shop. They knew they needed to transform their entire marketing strategy and turn to mobile if they wanted to win back their audience, so they spent much of 2017 focused on revamping their entire customer journey so that it was both personalized and user friendly.

In addition, they optimized their app to include exclusive offerings and VR to wow the consumer.

Many retailers fear that they have to offer discounts at all costs to compete. But the reality is that it’s a customized, world-class experience that drives customer conversion and loyalty. Macy’s believes that infusing the digital with their physical locations will provide customers with the unique, engaging shopping experience they crave.

The 2018 holiday shopping season gives Macy’s and other mobile ready retailers their chance to shine.

What are you doing to prep for next week? Comment below!