Holiday shopping is changing. In the last few years, the traditional in-store experience has had a new competitor step into the game: mobile purchasing. 

The results from Thanksgiving and Cyber Weeks in 2017 and 2018 prove that mobile is quickly becoming a staple in the holiday shopping market. After looking at the details, this should make all of our eCommerce retailers and marketers thrilled for the next holiday season. 

When you think about the fact that holiday sales are measured in the hundred billion dollar range, you know it’s a serious time of the year for retail stores. As mobile shopping continues to grow, it needs to be a big focus for companies moving forward. 

The Rise of Holiday Mobile Shopping 

Let’s compare stats over the last few years just to really understand where mobile shopping is headed. Since mobile really first started to break into the holiday shopping market in 2017, we’ll start there. 

During the 2017 holiday season, Oonline sales in the U.S. reached a record-breaking $6.59 billion on Cyber Monday alone, according to Adobe Analytics; this, along with a 16.9% increase in dollars spent online on Black Friday compared to 2016. 2017 truly reached new heights as online sales from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday set the record at close to $20 billion, up 15% year-over-year (YOY) from 2016, according to Adobe Digital Insights (ADI). Mobile sales represented 33.1% of that revenue, up 22.2% YOY.

In 2018, holiday eCommerce sales rose once again by 16% and came in over $120 billion. Once again, Cyber Monday brought in the big bucks with a reported $7.87 billion, followed by Thanksgiving and Black Friday. 

There has been a huge shift toward online shopping for some time and now consumers are increasingly favoring mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) for their shopping needs-- , you can only expect that this year we will continue to see an increase in these numbers.

eCommerce sales are soaring every year. In 2018, retailers continued to see healthy growth when it came to mobile sales and this is only expected to continue in years to come. Image courtesy of eMarketer undefined.

It’s no surprise because we’ve seen steady growth in both mobile site traffic and online revenue during the holiday shopping season the past several years. 

Why is consumer behavior is changing?

Why are we turning to our phones and tablets for our shopping needs? To me, the answer is simple – it’s easier. Mobile shopping is efficient and convenient. Shoppers already know what products they want and where to find the best deals for them, and can do so quickly without firing up their desktops.

Mobile is becoming a very common way consumers are finding and purchasing goods. Not only is this a trend during the holiday season, but throughout the entire year. Mobile commerce is expected to continue to grow and become a main source of purchasing. 

"Consumers are now savvier and more apt to do their own product research. Comparison shopping is more convenient than ever before with smartphones. Mobile internet finally has a solid foothold in the digital landscape. Companies are realizing that it’s no longer an afterthought— it's a primary driver and delivering on a seamless user experience across channels and devices is crucial.” said Zach Trimble, Listrak Product Manager.

As mobile becomes a main source for eCommerce sales, people are beginning to rely on their favorite retailers to offer mobile-optimized sites -- sometimes apps -- and more than ever, SMS coupon offers and discounts. It makes the shopping experience much more convenient and truly only as far away as their pocket. Companies such as Target, Macy's, Kohl's and Nordstrom have all been seen making investments in their mobile apps.

How Mobile Shopping Helped One Listraker

Convenience was key for me this year as I became a mother in September. With my brand-new baby in tow, I headed out for a shopping trip to Kohl’s for their pre-Thanksgiving Day sale to use a $10 coupon which was only redeemable in stores. I didn’t bring my stroller (I guess I skipped that day in New Mom 101) and had to lug baby around a crowded store and subsequently wait in long lines. After that, I decided to finish the rest of my shopping online -- from my iPhone that is.

It seems a lot of shoppers made the same decision I did this year. Kohl’s reported that its website had a “record-breaking” Thanksgiving, with roughly 16 million online visits that day, while JCPenney said online traffic had increased by “double digits” the week of Thanksgiving, with consumers using mobile devices to shop for gifts.

Mobile coupons help bring people to your site and get them spending. Knowing that you have a coupon for 15% off might make you choose to shop at one store over another.  

On Cyber Monday alone, mobile-driven revenue tipped the scales at $2 billion in 2017 and over $7 billion in 2018. So, what phones are shoppers favoring? The average order value for an Apple iOS user was $123, with Google Android users coming in at an average order value of $110.

Overall, more than half of Thanksgiving weekend’s online purchases were placed on mobile devices, according to data from Adobe Analytics, which measures online transactions by the 100 largest U.S. online retailers. Visits to physical stores dropped off as many retailers offered the same deals online as they did in-store.

It’s a smart move for retailers to realize that in an age where consumers are all busy and looking for any little way to save time and energy, offering the same incentive online and in-store will please those of us mobile shoppers.

So as we approach and start planning for the upcoming holiday shopping add an SMS offer incentives for your holiday shoppers who may be turning to their mobile device to purchase the perfect, gifts to check off of their list. 

If you’re new to SMS marketing, take a look at Listrak’s SMS State of the Industry infographic to gain a clear understanding of the current state of SMS. Listrak clients, take advantage of Listrak’s SMS offering by contacting your account manager today.
The way your customer's shop is changing, are you ready for the mobile era of holiday shoppers? 

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