Molly Buccini

The 2015 holiday season is here, and for marketers looking for a strong Q4 and a successful year’s end, the stakes are high.

Content and Coffee 7.17 3Yahoo Holiday Shopping Trends reports that non-holiday businesses see 40 percent of their total sales in the last two months of the year, proving it’s important to plan a campaign that brings a strong finish to the year regardless of holiday tie-in.

We’ve known for years that shoppers rely on clear information and cross-channel promotions to make their purchase decisions – in store, on a desktop or on their phone.  But here are 7 new stats to help marketers to focus in on their big holiday campaigns:

1. Shoppers will spend 4% more

Shoppers estimated to spend 3.5 to 4% more than last year:

Deloitte’s annual retail holiday sales forecast shows a modest 3.5 to 4 percent increase in spending over last year. This is less of an uptick than the 2014 projected increase in spending of 5.2 percent over 2013.

When consumers aren’t spending more, it could be interpreted that they’re spending more wisely. Rather than making hasty decisions at the checkout counter, they’re taking the time to research products thoroughly. They also want more for their dollar.

  • 68 percent say deals and promotions play a big role in their purchase decisions, particularly for those who begin shopping right before Thanksgiving.

To capitalize on the average consumer’s’ budget consciousness, planning a contest or promotion now.  Here’s more context on lead- and sales-generating contests.

2. Online leaders will earn up to 50% more revenue

Online shopping leaders can expect 40-50% increase in digital revenues this holiday season:

Last year 90 percent of shoppers went online for purchases, so marketers are aware they would be doing their business a disservice to ignore their digital audience.

When it comes to segmentation ecommerce:

  • 77 percent of consumers purchase holiday retail items on their desktops.
  • * It’s important to note that this figure doesn’t account for those who research products online before buying in store.

Get your site sales ready by considering updated product images, graphic CTAs and short form fields. Here’s how a CTA button switch helped one Brafton client boost web sales.

3. 70% of marketers foresee a mobile floodgate

70% believe they’ll see more mobile web sales activity than ever this holiday season:

2015 has been the year of mobile, so it’s unsurprising that 7 in 10 marketers expect an uptick in mobile sales this holiday season. For a small pool, 13 percent, mobile sales increase expectations are significant – between 50 and 100 percent, compared to 2014.

Set a deadline for your mobile campaign with these facts from RetailMeNot’s latest report:

  • Black Friday is the #1 day for mobile shopping
  • The second most popular time for mobile shopping is the weekend before Christmas

4. Holiday email open rates on mobile hit 50%

Open rates on smartphones hit an all-time high (50%) during the 2014 holiday season:

Campaigner’s latest holiday report showed email as the “top strategy for providing return on investment to respondents’ brands.”

For holiday marketers, two trends are clear: Segmentation and personalization. A one-size-fits-all approach to email is not going to have the same effect as targeted messages that suggest different products or emails that feature blog articles based on a user’s preferences. (A great reason to invest in marketing automation!)

Plan your holiday email calendar with these facts from Movable Ink US Consumer Device Preference Report:

  • The most opens on mobile devices happen on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, compared to Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday for desktops.
  • Smartphone opens tend to occur in the early morning from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m.
  • Tablet users open their mail at night.

5. 41% of retailers use Buy buttons

Buy buttons will be a major play for 41% of internet retailers:

Buy Now buttons made their debut in Google searches over the summer, and for 41 percent of retailers, this is going to be a game changer for the holidays.

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Research from Campaigner shows where retailers are using Buy Now buttons for best impact:

  • Two-thirds are using Buy Now buttons in email.
  • Over half are offering buy buttons via Facebook.
  • 17 percent are using Google Buy Now buttons.

6. 69% of web retailers are refreshing content

69% of Internet retailers are approaching their content strategy differently this season:

According to Campaigner, marketers are looking to implement more informational content and promotional content to get their audiences interested in products.

On the flip side, MarketTrack shared a look at why consumers are looking to content (and social media):

  • 36% look for discounts
  • 32% who would research gift ideas
  • 12% who looked forward to watching product videos:

The key to creating strong promotional content (without coming off too salesy) is to give consumers what they want. Read more: How do I get people to spend more money on my website?

7. Almost 2 in 5 brands aren’t ready

Roughly 4 in 10 businesses aren’t prepared for the holidays:

Here’s where things get sticky: Marketers are well aware of the importance of their holiday marketing campaigns, but they don’t have the strategies or resources in place to get the ball rolling.

We’re here to help.