Holiday shopping shows no signs of slowing down – in fact, the National Retail Federation projects a 4% increase in holiday sales for 2017. And since over half of consumers say they’ll be shopping online this year, mobile phone and smart assistant technology will play a role in how that shopping occurs. Besides having a well-optimized mobile website, here some other ways to prepare:
1) Shopping More on Weekends & Holidays
According to Retail Dive, these are the times that mobile shopping hits its peak. This makes sense, as weekends and holidays give consumers plenty of time to browse products outside of work. Holidays come with the added benefit of numerous online deals. To cater to this tendency, marketers can optimize things like their bidding strategy on Google paid search to serve more ads on weekends.
2) Mobile for Research
Mobile phones aren’t limited to making online purchases. They also serve as educational tools for shoppers when preparing to buy in-store. Many consumers not only consult online reviews, but use mobile devices to aid them with in-store purchases. In fact, 36% of US shoppers said they use their phones first and foremost to compare prices at brick-and-mortar stores. Additionally, shoppers are using their phones to find their closest physical retailer when looking for a particular product.
In order to measure the impact of your digital strategy on in-store sales, another Google tool, Google Attribution, can help you track customers across devices to see what converts. When defining your overall digital strategy, choose KPIs that help measure sales – conversions are obviously an important metric to track in this case. Also consider conducting something like a lift study to measure the impact of holiday marketing on your store traffic.
3) Smart Assistants Go Mainstream
Amazon’s Alexa, Google’s Home, Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana – smart assistants are here to stay, and are helping consumers shop. Brands like Starbucks and Amazon make ordering through this technology simple, so it’s only natural to see these capabilities expand and affect holiday shopping patterns. To take advantage, develop a skill that could help users search for or buy your product using a smart assistant. It’s also important to make sure all of your location and hours information is updated online, as smart assistants pull this information from online directories any time someone searches for the nearest storefront for your business.
Mobile technology and smart assistants have made shopping easier, and also more fragmented, than ever before. It would benefit marketers to get on board now and adapt while both are still smaller segments compared to online desktop shopping.