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5 Ways Holiday Shopping is Evolving, and Marketers Should Take Note

Brandon

November 20, 2014
Brandon

The holiday season creates the opportunity for buzz, not only for shoppers, but for marketers as well. Over the years, the trends revolving around holiday shopping are evolving, and so we, as marketers, must adapt as well. Here are 5 trends to look out for this season:

  1. Mobile usage is increasing: Whether it’s for research or to purchase, smartphone usage is becoming an increasingly used tool throughout the holiday shopping season. Not only has it created more ease for the consumer through mobile responsive web and apps such as Groupon and eBay Mobile, but has also allowed more opportunity for marketers to get their messages out (40% of online shoppers are browsing between 6 and 10pm, the perfect time to send out discount emails).
  2. The holiday season for shopping is starting earlier and earlier: Since deals are now starting earlier, so is the holiday shopping. Sometimes promotions are beginning as early as Halloween, and continuing throughout November. Pre- and post-meal Tahanksgiving Day shopping is increasing in popularity and hyped-up Black Friday is slowly fading being replaced by what is being called Gray Friday.
  3. Shoppers are more open to influence: Consumers are increasingly more brand-agnostic and are looking for as much insightful information before making an informed decision. This leaves much more room for marketers to get their messages to the correct audiences.
  4. A good deal (online) goes a long way: Each year, fewer people are shopping in stores, while more and more people are shopping on the web or on their mobile devices. Most of these shoppers are looking for the best price online, and more importantly, they’re attracted by the prospect of free shipping.
  5. Even though store traffic is down, the spirit of giving is stronger than ever: Just because retailers are seeing less foot-traffic doesn’t mean that the spending is following the same trend. Spending is expected to increase this year compared to years past, according to The Wall Street Journal, which said that retail sales increased $1 billion from 2010 to 2013, even though store traffic during that time period decreased by more than half.

The trends we are seeing this year are bound to only continue in the years to come, and have created a large opportunity for marketers to continue to evolve their holiday season strategies.