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Deck the Halls with Digital Shoppers: 2014 Holiday Mobile Marketing Strategies

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by: Todd McCormick (@TMcCormick2011)
31 October 2014

'Tis the season to be busy. With fewer than 60 days left until Christmas, the hectic holiday season is almost here. During this time, your customers will be more mobile than ever, so your holiday mobile-marketing strategies will be key to a successful season. 

Just consider the following highlights from IBM's "Seventh Annual Online Retail Holiday Readiness Report":

  • U.S. sales via mobile devices on Black Friday 2013 leapt nearly 43 percent year-over-year to 21.8 percent of all site sales. Cyber Monday 2013 mobile sales were up more than 55 percent from the previous year, reaching 17.2 percent of total online spending.
  • Mobile site traffic reached a record 38.2 percent in March 2014.
  • In November 2014, mobile sales are expected to account for more than 20 percent of total site sales and more than 43 percent of site traffic.

With mobile usage in mind, what does it take to create a winning holiday mobile-marketing campaign?

From Real Estate to Retail

The key to holiday mobile marketing is delivering the right content, on the right device, at the right time. With on-the-go customers, the right time is often when they're in the right location.

Online real estate company Trulia has mastered this winning combination. Jeff McConathy, Trulia's vice president of engineering and consumer services, shared the following story in a recent Google Maps for Work article:

"One of my favorite customer stories is about a couple out shopping the week before Christmas," Jeff says. "The husband was goofing around with our app on his phone and found a property near the mall that matched what they'd been looking for. There was an open house that day, so they decided to check it out."

The couple fell in love with the home, made an offer the next day, and moved in right after the holidays — a perfect match that might never have happened without the mobile product. "We all get bored and play with our phones," says Jeff. "It's great that we can provide such an engaging and fun mobile experience."

The same mobile marketing strategies Trulia has used to revolutionize the real estate industry can help retailers reach mobile shoppers this holiday season.

Meeting Mobile Shoppers Where They Are

Sixty-two percent of leading marketers (and 43 percent of all others) are using mobile channels to engage with customers. Those leaders are 1.9 times more effective in location-based targeting and 1.8 times more effective in mobile-messaging campaigns.

This means there's a huge opportunity for retailers who excel at creating dynamic content, geo-targeting and 1:1 behaviorial-targeting strategies.

Here's what to consider:

1) The right content: The more you know about your customers, the more you can personalize your approach. Existing customers have already given you plenty of data about their preferences, but since holiday shoppers aren't buying for themselves, knowing what's on their own gift lists will help you to deliver more compelling content about products they're most likely to buy. Consider whether you have the right cart and browse abandonment strategies in place to target digital window-shoppers.

2) The right device: All holiday marketing emails should be optimized for mobile devices, because that's how most consumers engage with your content. In fact, the average consumer spends 15 hours per week researching on smartphones and visits mobile websites six times. (See the infographic.)

3) The right time and place: Location is the key to delivering ultrarelevant content and converting site visitors into paying customers. With geo-targeting, customers who use your mobile app and happen to be near one of your stores can be lured inside with an exclusive text offer — i.e., "That item you were browsing on our site is available at our store two miles from your current location. Visit today and get 15% off any item on your holiday shopping list." Convenience and a bargain? Who wouldn't bite?

Bottom line: Knowing what to send, on what device and when, is a powerful mechanism for making your company's holidays happy, indeed.



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