We’ve written about how large a part digital has played for both businesses and shoppers this holiday season, and mobile is especially being used. Once again, the important of using multiple channels and platforms comes into focus, as text messaging and couponing are still playing a role.
According to eMarketer, flash sales and daily deals are on the decline for 2013, while other marketing channels methods are up:
Mobile coupons are up 8%
Text message deals are up 10%
App usage is up 3%
QR code usage is up 3%
Comparatively, 49% of shoppers polled by eMarketer on Black Friday said they relied on mobile coupons as opposed to in-store deals.
Holiday shopping is expected to hit $61.8 billion this year according to eMarketer, up over 15%.
As digital technology as evolved over the last few years, the way in which consumers browse the web has evolved with it. With the emergence of smartphones and tablets, mobile websites and apps became all the rage, but lately web developers have been responsive sites: websites that will automatically re-size and format content based on how a user is viewing it.
Without a separate URL or a separate program to access, responsive websites have helped to streamline the user experience. Many web users have multiple devices, and the simplicity of having one site fitting all methods of consuming content has inevitably lead to better advertising and revenue-generating opportunities.
A recent survey from Undertone saw that 53% of publishers plan on going responsive within the next year, and 68% stated they believe the primary positioning of ads on responsive sites will boost the asking price. The simpler layout of these sites permits ads to stand out better, and are often integrated directly into the content of the website.
The bottom line: responsive websites serve both users and advertisers, and are an innovation worth visiting as soon as possible.
Black Friday is rapidly approaching, but many businesses have been preparing for weeks, and for good reason. The National Retail Federation is forecasting holiday sales will increase 3.9% from last year. Last year’s holiday shopping season saw the first increase in total spending since 2008, so the arrow is clearly pointing up.
If it seems the holiday shopping season starts earlier every year, that’s because it does. Recent studies show that shoppers started searching for deals as early as September, with ‘Black Friday’ and ‘Holiday Gift Ideas’ being popular search terms online. Businesses have responded in kind – 40% of retail campaigns started before Halloween.
The most important time of the retail calendar is rapidly approaching. More than one fifth of U.S. retail ecommerce is spent in November and December – the holiday shopping season.
According to eMarketer, holiday sales are projected to reach $61.8 billion this year, a 15% increase. And a significant portion of that purchasing will occur online – specifically smart phones and tablets.
Tablets passed smart phones as the largest driver of mobile traffic for retail sites earlier this year, accounting for more than 10% of total web traffic. Tablet shopping is projected to hit $26.05 billion this year.
But that doesn’t mean mobile has lost its luster – increasing investments form larger retailers, as well as increased spending on digital advertisements, have increased mobile’s share of total Mcommerce in 2013. Mcommerce is expected to reach $41.68 billion this year, and will eclipse $100 billion by 2017.
The power of tablets and smart phones doesn’t just apply to how much it drives total sales; it often convinces customers to complete purchases in stores or on desktop computers.
The bottom line is, make sure your mobile strategy is in place – the holidays are just around the corner!
As more businesses emphasize their digital strategies, it’s worth looking at which industries are thriving when it comes to mobile
According to a study by Shop.org partnering with comScore and the Partnering Group, Retail searches grew by 49% year-over-year this past June. 44% of those searches came from a smartphone, and if counting tablets, it becomes 55%.
According to eMarketer, other industries doing well are:
Hospitality and travel: 9.0% open to click rate
Consumer Services Industry: 19% mobile click to open rate
Top desktop performer: the healthcare industry with more than 4/10 emails received via desktop opened and clicked.
Social buzz: 9/10 restaurants used social media outreach this year, up 77% from 2012
The millennial demographic continues to evolve – and not just for the digital age. A recent study from Vallassis shows that millennials are getting coupons from newspapers, edging out other digital methods like email and internet searches.
But their versatility is still fully on display; 27% of 18-to-34-year-olds polled said they have used a mobile coupon in the last year.
The millennial demographic is proving a very diverse crowd, with trends going in many different direction based on gender and age group. A February poll from Ipsos MediaCT showed male millennials tended to be more digitally inclined than female:
7/10 men ages 18 to 34 have smartphones
67% of males ages 18 to 24 and 56% ages 25 to 34 had accessed a social network within seven days prior of being polled
Twice as likely as female millennials to be avid computer users – 35% had viewed a digital ad within the past week of being polled
40% of those polled said they would purchase anything online
If you have gone shopping at this summer you may have been surprised to see back-to-school supplies already being prominently featured. With students returning to class in less than a month, the back-to-school shopping spree is about to increase.
The seven weeks between school years has proven to be retail’s second most important selling period behind the winter holidays, with $84 billion spent last year alone. ShopperTrak is projecting that sales will increase in August by 4.3 percent in 2013.
Many retailers are also offering specific promotions, either to attract more sales traffic or target a specific demo. Some examples below:
Sears: offering eCoupons and sales associates to bring purchases to cars if requested
Best Buy: targeting older students with gift card promotions for certain purchases
Target: will spend about $160 million on measured media according to Kantar Media
Even state governments are getting in on the action – at least 17 U.S. states have offered back-to-school tax breaks.
There are other trends worth examining. The National Retail Federation surveyed more than 5,700 adults, who indicated they will do comparative shopping. 32% of families are doing so online, making their purchases on the web as well.
It has not been a complete spending spree, however – 77% of those polled are still being cautious in this economy. Still, fewer consumers say they are buying generics – the number of consumers saying they will stick to generic items or sales is down 13% according to a new Big Insight survey.
Though the media field has changed dramatically over they last several years and is poised to evolve further, consumers still find value in print – so much so they’re reading it more.
Recent studies indicate that 69% of of U.S. adults read a newspaper in either print or online at least once a week, while the total audience for magazines has grown 2.36% to 1.21 billion.
Part of the success of print products is the embrace of digital methods. Smart publications have used print and digital mediums to compliment and accent one another. Counting digital editions of magazines, magazine readership is up to 1.3 billion, and newspaper readership is up 58% year-over-year if tablet and smartphones are counted.
The bottom line – don’t listen to anyone who says print is dead.
With methods constantly changing, it’s important to take a step back and examine how far digital methods have taken businesses – as well as analyze what’s doing the most good.
According to a recent survey, relevant content remains the most important tactic for promoting a brand, regardless of how it’s channeled. Various B2B & B2C marketers were polled, with segmenting an email database, integrating email with other methods and personalized email messaging also ranking high on the priority list.
This is a far cry from as little as five years ago. A separate study shows that 98% of respondents use some sort of email platform, 34% more than 2008. Social media marketing has seen the highest rise, going from 10% five years ago to 87% today.
The millennial generation has proven to account for $900 billion in spending power in 2013, and is growing rapidly. Millennials are the first generation to outgrow the baby-boomer generation – and the boomer generation of businesses and marketers have on the whole not adapted as quickly as they should have.
Millennials spend 25 hours a week online – largely on their smart phones. They’ve proven to be radically different from their parents and grandparents before them – not marrying, still living with parents for a few years out of college, and focusing more on their own individual paths as opposed to ones laid out for them by past generations. Millennials like having options. This has created many great marketing opportunities – and challenges.
Bonnie Fuller recently wrote for of how many baby boomer CEOs with whom she has spoken conceded to being overwhelmed by the growing number of digital media options as their disposal – the same ones millennials have grown up with, grown accustomed to and in some cased, created themselves.
As a result, many advertising campaigns are being handed over to agencies which still focus most of their attention on traditional media, and while that remains a pivotal factor, it leaves the digital front underserved in many cases. One CRO told Fuller, “There is a perception that digital doesn’t do a good job at branding as traditional media.”
The problem is traditional media doesn’t connect to millennials on a regular basis the way digital does. And not just the legacy brands, which often gets more attention in digital advertising campaigns. Demographic-focused content sites, which offer specifically tailored content to audiences, are proving to be the most popular way to reach millennials.
The bottom line: aligning with the right medium is crucial when it comes to reaching this ever growing demographic.