One of the most effective ways to evaluate a holiday marketing strategy is to look at previous trends from past years to identify what's been effective. In this blog post, we look at a couple of trends we noticed within our own network, and how you can build these trends into your holiday marketing strategy.
Previous Consumer Trends Give Insight to Future Holiday Shopping
With the holidays around the corner and many holiday shoppers already researching products, one of the best ways marketers can prepare is by leveraging previous trends and data into their current strategy. Between the changes in trends and emerging marketing channels, the last few years of holiday shopping has produced exciting insights for marketers to leverage and Rakuten Marketing has examined this data to empower marketers with the gifts of insight this holiday season.
Historical Shopping Peaks
One of the first pieces of data we reviewed was shopping peaks. By understanding when customers most frequently convert on purchases, marketers will be able to more effectively build a strategy that has the best opportunity to yield results.
We started by looking at the last three years of Q4, and insights show holiday shopping is beginning earlier year-over-year. We also found that 59% of consumers plan on beginning their holiday shopping in early fall, sometime before Halloween*. This indicates that marketers should be preparing their holiday advertising strategies and implementing them right now since consumers are already starting to make decisions about their future holiday purchases, whether it’s for themselves or for others.
This is a great opportunity to get shoppers more familiar with your brand or products early on as the deal days (like Black Friday and Cyber Monday) get closer. Shoppers are, and will continue, to search and find the best deals they can on the brands and products they’ve already seen and researched. By building awareness now, you establish a connection that can be leveraged later when those consumers pivot from researching brands and products, to researching deals and offers.
Shifting Consumer Device Behavior
For marketers, it can be difficult to decipher how to successfully advertise to ever-changing consumer behaviors. From where they get their information and how they want it presented, to the devices they use and where they use them, consumers are constantly changing what they want from their shopping experiences – and for marketers, delivering on these expectations is essential.
A great example of this is how consumers use different devices to learn about brands and products, find deals, and make purchasing decisions. In our survey, we found that every year consumers have utilized their mobile devices more and more for online shopping. Although desktop remains the highest used platform for holiday shopping, mobile has been the consistent platform for growth since 2014; in Q4 2016, attributed revenue for mobile increased by 53 percent year-over-year, while desktop increased by 18 percent and tablet remained static.
This tells us a few things about holiday shoppers. First, we know that they’re taking advantage of both devices, and are therefore more connected and able to find the information they need regardless of where they are. Second, we know that mobile is becoming more of a priority, but it’s not replacing desktop experiences – likely because desktops can still be an easier shopping and navigation experience overall. Third, it shows that consumers don’t need to dedicate time to research, shop for, and purchase products – they can do it on the go with their phones, and then revisit their searches later on a desktop.
With these insights, marketers should make sure to strategize advertising to both mobile shoppers and desktop shoppers. Marketers can anticipate desktop shoppers to be those who have time to digest more information and enjoy browsing, while a mobile user will most likely be on the go and need a fast pace, simple experience while shopping. This will mean customers are going to have different expectations on their experiences, and marketers will want to deliver one that’s optimized for both desktop and mobile devices.
Over the 2017 holiday period, Rakuten Marketing will continue to share insights to help empower marketers to be successful this holiday shopping season. Stay tuned!