What Holiday Consumer Behavior Teach Us For 2016

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The major shopping weekend (Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday) has passed. the way consumers shop during the holidays and the way retailers service them, give us a good information to consider for 2016.

Smartphones is preferred for mobile shopping: this holiday more than half of all digital shopping were done

on mobile devices. Adobe reports that smartphones and tablets accounted for 53 percent of shopping visits, and generated more than $583 million in sales.

Mobile devices also represented 34 percent of all online sales, but Adobe notes that the vast majority of these played out on smartphones. Sales originating on smartphones increased 70 percent over 2014, while sales on tablets decreased by two percent. In terms of shopping visits on Black Friday, 40 percent of them happened on smartphones, compared with just 13 percent on tablets.

Lesson: While brands should still be optimizing content for both devices, ratcheting up smartphone advertising stands to boost sales in the New Year. Instead of lumping mobile ad dollars together, consider dividing your ad budget between smartphones and tablets. Two platforms, each with a distinct user experience and behavioral pattern, demand flexibility when it comes to percentage of budget spent.

slow loadingDigital performance has a direct effect on sales: mobile users ages 18 to 34 are demanding exceptional digital experiences. A slow or buggy site will be abandon and the consumer will shop elsewhere.

Lesson: Brands that prioritize site speed and functionality are sure to see big improvements in their online retail sales all year long.

Search marketing remains a must: consumers still rely heavily on search when shopping online. During the cyber weekend, sales generated by search marketing increased 13 percent this year. Google said that mobile-based shopping related searches have grown more than 120 percent over 2014.

Lesson: Investing in paid search to get in front of shoppers when they’re actively researching products online can impact your online sales every day of the New Year.

Online shopping and social media go hand in hand
: In the wake of Black Friday, Adobe revealed that consumers generated 25 percent more social media buzz this year than last. Nearly four million mentions came out of the shopping event, and more than half of those were related to Amazon.

Lesson: It behooves retailers to fortify their social media marketing teams in preparation for questions and damage control; 51 percent of millennials will complain on social media if they don’t have a positive online shopping experience, Dynatrace says.

There is a big opportunity to engage with consumers and increase sales next year, if you apply what you have learned so far.