Holiday 2017 Trends: Mobile, In-Store Deals Deliver Brand Loyalty

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After the big Black Friday rush, marketers are set on finishing the holiday shopping season strong — and they're turning to digital to do it. 

According to Forrester, holiday spending is expected to reach $129 billion this year – a 16 percent increase over 2016. Online sales are anticipated to see a 12 percent jump, as the mobile marketplace becomes an increasingly appetizing outlet for shoppers.

Mobile trends

Mobile was a driving force through Black Friday weekend, bringing in 60 percent of site traffic and 41 percent of online sales, according to Salesforce.  

“It's no surprise that mobile has become a critical component of the shopping experience. On average, consumers in major markets used over 30 apps per month, including 2-4 Shopping apps in the first half of 2017,” Amir Ghodrati, Director of Marketing Insights at App Annie, said.

Engaging through mobile goes beyond just online offerings. Some companies are leveraging devices to enhance in-store experiences by providing mobile discounts, sales,and speedier payment methods alongside on-site deals. Walmart, for example, offers their in-app “Scan and Go” feature, which allows consumers to pay for in-store items right from their mobile device.

“App loyalty programs help bridge the gap between mobile and in-store purchases, providing a valuable record of a user's purchase history that can inform future purchases and relevant sales updates,” Ghodrati said.

Managing the digital marketplace

As online purchasing gains momentum, marketers need to maximize their strategies for exposure on mobile mediums. Advertisers Perceptions reports that 59 percent of companies are spending more than ever on digital marketing this year, investing in digital, social and paid search campaigns for more personalized customer experiences. 

For smaller businesses, accessibility to retail marketplaces like Amazon or eBay can also boost exposure. Forrester reports more than half of all SMB sales can come from online marketplace purchases, placing emphasis on these types of strategic partnerships.

“For SMBs marketing is tough, so presence on the large marketplaces is critical,” Retail Analyst Sucharita Kodali said. “Shoppers go to the marketplaces and search on the marketplaces, so having a presence on the marketplaces can deliver some volume.”

According to Forrester, more than 80 percent of consumers are attracted to deals like coupons and discounts offered by companies they've visited before. When combined with in-store or in-app incentives, marketers can create brand loyalty that lasts well beyond the holiday season.

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