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Consumers Go Online for Holiday Shopping

 In Digital Marketing

We all know the holiday season is in full swing.

Historically, the biggest shopping day of the year is the Friday after Thanksgiving, Black Friday. In the advent of the internet age, another big shopping day was added, the Monday after Thanksgiving, Cyber Monday.

Since Black Friday and Cyber Monday passed a few weeks ago, some of the data on how consumers shopped has been released.

What has been fascinating to see is just how vital online and mobile shopping has become to retailers over the last few years.

Mobile Makes a Big Impact

Mobile purchases have continued an upward trend when it comes to buying power. Just check out some of these stats from Adobe’s Marketing Cloud Digital Index:

  • “On Thanksgiving, $639 million in sales came via mobile devices.”
  • “On Black Friday, $905 million in sales came via mobile devices.”

That’s over $1.5 billion (yes with a b) spent from mobile devices, not counting traditional desktops.

This isn’t something that’s just sprung up out of nowhere. Mobile devices are making it easier than ever for consumers to simply pull out their phone at the Thanksgiving table and start shopping.

The data proves it.

Scratch-it holiday mobile

Here’s more on consumer shopping and mobile devices from a study by Session M:

  • “43% of consumers plan to do their holiday shopping via mobile.”
  • “45% of holiday shoppers plan to use mobile payments.”

Here’s more from IBM Watson Trend:

  • “Mobile traffic accounted for nearly half of all online traffic and 27.6% of all online sales Monday, which is up more than 25% from last year.”
  • “Online sales increased 17.8% Monday compared to the same day in 2014.”

That means 2015 is the first year that mobile devices have started to play a major role in online shopping during the holiday season.

Online Shopping Continues to Grow

Shopping trends over the last few years have been leaning toward online. Now, more and more consumers aren’t just shopping online during Cyber Monday, they are doing it throughout the entire holiday shopping season.

This chart from Statista gives a nice overview:

Scratch-it Holiday Mobile

Marketers, from traditional brick and mortar shops to eCommerce stores, have begun to understand that it is essential to appeal to consumers who want to shop online.

A huge portion of that has to be through email marketing.

In fact, a 2014 MailChimp survey found that 100% (yes) of those marketers who were surveyed were planning on using email marketing as part of their holiday marketing campaigns.

And according to Steelhouse, last year 49% of marketers created and implemented their holiday email marketing campaigns before Halloween.

Brands and marketers are continuing to focus in on email marketing because it works:

  • “Promotions via email drove 25% more sales than in 2014, with more than 15% of sales referrals.” – Adobe Marketing Cloud
  • “Over the holiday weekend, email marketing generated 23.3% of orders.” – Custora

Video Starts Making an Impact

Many believe that 2015 is the year video really began getting embraced in marketing, and that the sky’s its limit in the coming years.

What’s interesting to see is just how much consumers are starting to see video as a vital part of their shopping experience.

From Think With Google:

Scratch-it Holiday Mobile

Another study done by AdWords came up with the trend that “shopping moments are replacing shopping marathons,” meaning that the days of the crush of lines waiting outside stores to begin an all day shopping session might be coming to a close.

Again, part of this includes video as more and more consumers are looking to channels like YouTube to help them make their purchasing decisions.

The same AdWords study also found that “one in four shoppers (26%) say online videos are their go-to source for gift ideas, and 32% of shoppers say they plan to use online video more this year for holiday purchases.”

As you can see, online and mobile shopping is where consumers were focusing their energies both on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

It pays for marketers and brands to understand how the dynamics are changing and fully embrace digital marketing, especially with video and mobile devices.