Marketing for the Holidays

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Holiday Marketing Stats:

Black Friday/Cyber Monday has become a phenomenon in recent years, so much so that the savviest retailers will have been planning their campaigns months in advance. This year however, Amnet’s advertising team saw an interesting shift in shopping patterns. Consumers are foregoing the camping out at stores to bag the bargains in favor of filling their virtual baskets from the comfort of their own couches. Black Friday has moved online.

According to Google, 59% of mobile shopping searches occurred before 6pm… on Thanksgiving Day. The image of consumers in the US finishing their turkey and then sitting down to browse for bargains on their mobile devices ahead of Black Friday is revealing. It has even prompted Google to offer access to store visits data in AdWords campaigns for its customers to better understand how the ads are performing.

During the holiday period, email conversions (a purchase from an email marketing link) were higher on mobile (44%) than on desktop (13%) devices; and email marketing companies reported a greater number of people accessing offers this year through their mobiles. Movable Ink, for example, reported a 76% open rate for its mobile emails on Friday and 63% on Monday, while rival Yesmail saw 55% of its emails opened on a mobile. In fact, mobile shopping was responsible for US$1.2bn of revenue, cornering 36% of the bargain-weekend spend. It’s clear that retailers are relying less on Black Friday footfall and more on click rates.

With this in mind, the big winners were the brands that made the most of the mobile shopper. Business2community.com listed six brands that it felt nailed the weekend’s social media marketing, including one store that ran a campaign to close its doors on Black Friday and give its workers the day off. While this sounds foolhardy, it had the opposite effect; shoppers could still buy online from REI’s automated system and the brand showed its human credentials. Win, win.

REI’s marketing campaign makes for an interesting case study. The #OptOutside campaign cleverly tapped into the cynicism around consumerism and encouraged people to enjoy outdoor activities near them by providing GPS information to the smartphone. In this way, the outdoor goods company presented itself as a lifestyle brand and showed it practiced what it preached – much to the delight of the consumer.

Amazon made the most of consumer spending habits over the holiday by running an entire two weeks of Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals, and has promised new deals every five minutes in the run up to Christmas. This online retailer tapped into the other interesting consumer trend to have emerged from the event: carefully considered purchases. Rakuten Marketing’s research shows that in the US, UK and Australia, consumers consider a purchase for up to six days before committing to buy. This means that brands need to set the stage for their deals, at least a week before launch to make the most of the retail opportunity. Mobile shoppers are clearly no longer going to be swayed by impulse buys on the day.

With these two factors in mind, make sure the holiday remains a major source of revenue for you by getting in touch with Amnet to plan your holiday advertizing campaigns.